Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Egg Month! Underpainting and Overpainting

Acrylic Underpainting (Bottom)
Oil Overpainting (Top) on Illustration Board

Question: Why do an underpainting if I'm going to cover it with color anyway?

Underpainting is beneficial to do for several reasons:

1. All value and drawing problems can be figured out in this monochromatic stage.
2. When overpainting you concentrate on the color and temperature not the value. To match the overpainting color squint at your underpainting and chosen color and you will see the value relationship. This I learned from the esteemed Professor McGovern at Uarts.
3. Underpainting can be done in acrylic to assist in fast deadlines.
4. Underpainting can show through to assist in color and temperature.

Under-paintings can be any color. If your key color is going to be red try a green underpainting. That green can show through in the shadows to create a complimentary temperature change. If your unsure burnt umber is always a good bet. It can take on a cool or warm tone depending on the overpainting color.

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