View Full Version : underpainting, WIP

Linda Ciallelo
02-10-2004, 10:04 PM
It's been a long time since I have been able to paint. First I had to prepare for Christmas and then I was on jury duty for the entire month of January. I started tthis underpainting this morning. This is 18x24 on canvas panel. I won't make any money from this one, but am just doing it for my own pleasure. The chair needs more work before the underpainting is done. That print will be a lot of work. I will try to post photos as I work on it.

02-10-2004, 10:10 PM
Hi Linda. Another lovely one coming up here I see.

Can you remind me about your process & the tools you use, as you go along.?

Like did you do a charcoal drawing first & put a fixitive etc.?

02-10-2004, 10:14 PM
Looks great, Linda! :clap:

I can just imagine how much "fun" you are going to be having with the print. ;)

Your still life was fun to watch as it progressed and this portrait should be even more interesting. Keep up the good work!

Barb Solomon :cat:

02-10-2004, 10:16 PM
...and who says one has to make a fresh start on January 1st :clap:

I'm sure you're glad getting back at it!

Interesting character to the girl's face, good you're working bigger, and yes pattern is a challenge.

Linda Ciallelo
02-10-2004, 10:29 PM
Biki, I grid the panel with charcoal, just in halves and then in fourths. Then I wipe off the charcoal lines(you can still see them). Then I draw with the paint. My panel is primed with lead primer so I can wipe the paint right off with a paper towel if it isn't right. I wiped the eyes off several times, and redid them.
I am using 3 parts copal retouch varnish mixed with 1 part oil , as the medium for the underpainting. I will have to wait for it to dry before I start the second coat. I do a lot of adjusting in the wet paint with brush and paper towel. You just move the paint around until you're happy witth it.
Thanks Barb, and Linoxyn, I was getting very depressed not producing anything. My new panels are partly primed but I really need to just paint something for no reason, at this point. I'll prime the rest of the panels later. This is actually an old panel that I had, and it's not as good as it could be, but I just need to paint something.

02-10-2004, 11:13 PM
Hi Linda

this looks great, even at the underpainting stage one is certain this is a winner! There's tremendous character in the girl's face already.


02-11-2004, 12:36 AM
This already looks wonderful. Excellent composition. I'll be watching with great interest.


02-11-2004, 01:14 AM
this is going to be stunning. I'm eagerly looking forward to seeing it in all it's stages.

02-11-2004, 02:15 AM
Sometimes I feel awfully guilty that I contribute nothing - but instead pick the brains of all you marvels out there. But - you get the blessing, right? - and I get the blessed info - so I guess it is a fair exchange :D

My panel is primed with lead primer so I can wipe the paint right off with a paper towel if it isn't right. I wiped the eyes off several times, and redid them.

Do you do this yourself.? do pre-primed canvases generally come with lead primer? - if not, what are the benefits.?

I am using 3 parts copal retouch varnish mixed with 1 part oil , as the medium for the underpainting

what oil? - I think I remember that you use walnut, is that correct?

do you also use the copal alone for a retouch varnish.?

( hope you don't mind my questions - but I have great respect for your work)

BTW - was he innocent or guilty.? :evil:

02-11-2004, 04:02 AM
I like it very much. :clap:
I am looking forward for next stages!


Linda Ciallelo
02-11-2004, 08:41 AM
Thank you all for your encouragement. I am eager to get back on track with my life.
Biki, I make about 24 canvas covered panels at one time. I glue "unprimed" 7oz. cotton duck to masonite and after sizing it well with the glue(there's a proper procedure), I apply lead primer. I started using lead primer after several fine artists reccommended it. Once I tried it I never wanted to use anything else.
yes, walnut oil will work fine with the varnish. Actually any drying oil and any varnish will work. I am using two recipes. One for the underpainting and one for the second layer. I am using stand oil right now. I found that I liked it better if I left out the solvent that most people use with it. I use the varnish(instead of the solvent) as a dilutent and to make it dry faster.
The underpainting recipe is 3 parts varnish with one part oil.
The over painting recipe is 3 parts oil with one part varnish.
I also add 2ml. of liquid lead with each, for faster drying tiime.
Possible choices for the varnish would be mastic, damar or copal.
Possible choices for the oil would be linseed, walnut, or stand oil.
I was on the "grand" jury so we did not decide guilt or innocence. We heard many cases and only had to decide if a crime had been committed and if there was enough evidence to send it to trial. It was like having another job.

02-11-2004, 06:50 PM
Thanks Linda - great info - you are so kind.

Classical Vince
02-14-2004, 08:09 PM
Hi Linda! Every time I read about all your formulas I think...hope this lady is all suited up in protective gear when she paints! Seriously though, I bet you need to take a lot of precautions right? I just started using lead based maroger and I am trying to handle my work area with care. I dont glove up though since it feels constricting.

I like how you started this with a sketch done with your brush. I'll have to try that one day. Please tell us your colors as you progress. Nice start your lil' model really does have a character that you captured.

02-15-2004, 04:30 AM

I did a little search around to try & find one of yours that is completed, but I couldn't find the image. ... like the other little girl you did sitting on the step.
Can you point me somewhere.?

Everyone I have seen you start, I get excited about seeing the finish & then the thread seems to get lost.

Linda Ciallelo
02-16-2004, 06:42 PM
Classical Vince, as long as you don't eat the paint, inhale the dust, or slather large amounts of it on your skin, it will not harm you. I don't get much on my hands and when I do I wash it off.
Biki, I have to admit that I am in a learning process just as you are and many of my "starts" go wrong.
Here's some progress with this one. I spent all afternoon just trying to figure out what colors to use for the face. I wiped it off three times. I think I will let this stay and call it "blocking in". Everything is easier than the face. I will foll with this more , but am generally pleased with what's there for today. I will work on the dress and otther easy parts for awhile.
I first went over the shadow areas with a transparent burnt sienna, and then used cad. red lt., yellow ochre, black, and a mixture of several whites as needed. I had lead white, tit/zinc white and a mixture of buff titanium and buff zinc on my pallet. I couldn't tell you what I used when but some of all of them. Obviously it needs a lot more work.

Linda Ciallelo
02-16-2004, 08:24 PM
I have gone further with this now. You can see more blocking in.

Linda Ciallelo
02-17-2004, 12:06 AM
You can see where I'm going with this now I think. I'm excited and scared that I will mess it up.

02-17-2004, 12:36 AM
You can see where I'm going with this now I think. I'm excited and scared that I will mess it up.

You wouldn't dare Linda.
Looking great.

02-19-2004, 07:59 PM
Wow, Linda this looks great!! Ive always heard that doing an underpainting will make things look better, but Ive never had the guts or patience to try it myself. But Im taking a class where I think my teacher wants us to use it at some point, so I guess Ill get the chance to experiment with it soon. If mine looks anywhere near as good as yours does Ill be quite happy! :D

Sorry you had to take so long off from painting, by the way. Im kind of in the same situation with school. Ive been so busy doing stuff for my classes that I havent actually had any time to just paint. :mad: Glad to see you finally found the time!!

Have fun!! :D


02-19-2004, 08:06 PM

Wow, I love this!! It's amazing, I don't know how you can go wrong!! The skin can be so hard, but you've captured it perfectly!! I will be observing this closely, I'd like to try some of your techniques in some upcoming oils - the results are amazing!


Linda Ciallelo
02-20-2004, 12:24 AM
Thanks very much for the kind words. Here is the latest update.

Linda Ciallelo
02-21-2004, 10:50 PM
Here's the latest update. The second layer , or block in, is almost done.

Linda Ciallelo
02-22-2004, 04:42 PM
I just finished covering the canvas. I would say that the second layer, or the blocking in is done now. I will put it up to dry before I try to fine tune anything. Thanks for looking.