Friday, February 19, 2010
I explain my Underpainting method with examples
Underpaintings, the solid base. I wanted to return to the underpainting topic again because I feel like they are so magical. Until I used them my paintings seemed flat and lifeless (to me, anyway). In this entry I thought it would be very useful to discuss one of my most successful paintings/prints: "America's Favorite City". It's actually California Street in San Francisco. I'm sure you guessed that. I really went to town on this one but it took some careful planning. I noticed and you will also that there are quite a few white buildings in this painting. I thought I would give each one a different u. p. (thanks for the break...I can't type underpainting over and over as my poor cracked and sore finger tips from the dry heat in Utah are furious today and the typing doesn't help at all). Okay, now, I can really get picky in my planning and this accounts for my prices. I put a lot of serious thought in everything I do. Look at the white buildings that are located about midsection. I gave them a red orange o. c. Moving back in perspective I used yellow ochre, pink, orange, etc. Now, in the foreground there is so much boring boring pavement. This o. p. actually looked like molten lava. Now I want you to know that that's why I love acrylics because after I laid in the o. p's. I began with very think layers on top-being careful to allow a little touch of the o. p. to show through. As you can see the white buildings definitely are stars in their own right-plus the pavement is far from boring. Later in the painting I used oils (remember oils on TOP of acrylics-not the other way around).
Okay, so I added another one of my paintings at the top of this blog because I remembered that I had a picture of it before (with just u. p.) and after (finished). This is "The McCune Mansion"-a gorgeous old mansion in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. I've posted this before but many of you probably didn't see it. It just illustrates my technique perfectly. So, I had to include it.
You can cleverly lead the eye back in perspective by using sequentially cooler and cooler u. p. colors. I did that with green trees in another painting. I started out with red and ended up with a purple. It really works, you guys! But you have to have patience and use a little planning. The benefits are enormous (and I really like to get the job done fast in everything I do...so I had to make myself hunker down and focus).
Oh, just so you don't think I'm the genius that thought this up I want you to know that my art teacher, Robert Rumel, suggested the brilliant u. p's. years ago. I just took that and ran with it farther than I think he thought I'd do. Thanks again, Robert!