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Kitty Wallis
03-11-2004, 07:15 PM
Toning: Preparing a pastel surface for painting using an all-over evenly applied color.

Underpainting for pastels: I use Createx Pure Pigment*, a liquid dispersion of finely ground pigment to begin a painting, finding the forms, the values and the relative color. Structure, motion and composition are addressed with the 2" wide brush strokes.

Now that I've defined my terms, I want to make a strong statement in favor of underpainting.

My theory is that pastel artists have become used to working on colored paper and many assume that it's the correct procedure. After working for years on colored paper and finding my way to my present technique, underpainting on white sanded paper, I wouldn't go back. Working on an all-over tone is an impediment to achieving value contrast. I've noticed that when I start with white paper and use an underpainting as described below, I have a more brilliant, painterly finished work.

Underpainting is a jump start into the meat of the picture. I can discover many things about my subject while underpainting. After making a lightly marked beginning 'map' of the subject with vine charcoal, I begin to draw with a large brush using primary colors. First the yellows, then red then blue. I work like a printing press works, applying the primaries in the form, value and strength I think I will want for each color I see. (Where it's lime green I put strong yellow, then a touch of blue) proceeding to address every area in a loose and focused way, finishing all the yellows throughout the painting before I pick up the red, then blue.

I stop the underpainting, dragging myself away before I start diddling in the details. I have a composition of many colors and mixtures, informing me of the accuracy of my vision of the color mixes; the forms and composition well located.

As I start with the pastels I keep drawing. Because the grit is not filled in at all with the Createx I still have all the depth of the texture and I can make any corrections needed. The process is forgiving, mistakes are just steps on the road.

*Createx Pure Pigment makes effortless washes, it works like a liquid watercolor but much stronger. It does not have any paint body so it doesn't fill the grit in my paper. Dakota Art Supplies and Daniel Smith stock it.

Hoofmama
03-11-2004, 07:26 PM
Kitty, I'd love to see examples of your work, especially any examples comparing work on colored paper vs. your underpainting techniques on white. Very informative post. Thanks.

CarlyHardy
03-11-2004, 08:37 PM
Thanks for the online resources. I ask about that in the other thread...so you can ignore my question there :)

I'd love to see a demo....wanna give our publisher a workout? :D I guess I'm not clear if you're using similar color in the underpainting as the pastels you put down....or if you're using complimentary colors to create more pow.

carly

Khadres
03-12-2004, 12:56 AM
I'd love to see how it's done too. Makes a certain kind of sense, but I'd have to see it to really understand it. Dense is my middle name, you know! :D

jackiesimmonds
03-12-2004, 03:00 AM
Kitty - do you have a website with your work on it, that we can view?

lawsportraits
03-12-2004, 07:28 AM
Hi Kitty,

I too would *love* to see a demo, and pictures of the materials you use, if you have time. I've never heard of Createx Pure Pigment. I have toned your paper, but I have never done an underpainting. Several times I have worked right on the stark white surface, no toning or underpainting. I prefer this method because the colours are not influenced, in any way, by the toned surface. I would love too learn how to do a proper underpainting, it would save help my bank account. I seem to go through a great many pastels with the method I use :(

Welcome to Wet Canvas!!!!!!!!!! I guess you're somewhat of a celebrity around here. :D

Heather

Kathryn Wilson
03-12-2004, 09:12 AM
Hi Kitty, it sounds like you would have an audience for a WIP, or an Article. Is there any interest on your part?

I do have a question - when you use these pigments, do you use them straight or are they watered down before they go onto the Wallis?

See, we have lots of questions!

Deborah Secor
03-12-2004, 10:49 AM
Kitty, what difference do you you find between underpainting, as you've described it, and toning the paper and then laying down a value map over that? Is the overal one-coloredness the issue? In other words, I assume that the color applications you're using are not simply to creat values but are simultaneously laying in colors and values. Is this correct? To what advantage? Does it make more colorful paintings? (One thing we all know for sure is that you are one of the Queens of Color--not to mention a Squigglist Supreme! :D )

Deborah

sundiver
03-12-2004, 02:03 PM
Kitty - do you have a website with your work on it, that we can view?

I think this might be it, Jackie. I did a google search. Gorgeous paintings.


http://www.harrisgalleryhouston.com/TheArtists/Artist.asp?ArtistID=78

meowmeow
03-12-2004, 02:53 PM
THanks Sundiver..I was just looking for something with her paintings. THese are beautiful.


Sandy

doe
03-14-2004, 10:53 AM
Thanks Sundiver - Stunning and huge pastel paintings Kitty, you should have a link to these in your signature!

My question is what is the drying time of Createx and can you mix it with alcohol to speed drying time?

Another question - do you mount your paper on matboard first? and another do you paint these on location?

Sorry, one question always seems to lead to another and sometimes I ask too many. :)

Kitty Wallis
03-14-2004, 02:31 PM
Thanks for all these questions:

I guess I'm not clear if you're using similar color in the underpainting as the pastels you put down....or if you're using complimentary colors to create more pow....Carly

-I use similar colors, paying careful attention to values. My underpainting looks like a very simple watercolor when it's done.

it sounds like you would have an audience for a WIP, or an Article. Is there any interest on your part? ...Kat

-Yes, I'd be interested but I don't know how to upload pictures, yet. I'm waiting for a lesson from my son.

when you use these pigments, do you use them straight or are they watered down before they go onto the Wallis?..Kat

-I use at least 50% water for the strongest color. Using them straight results in oxidized color shifts in the organic pigments (sometimes a fun effect) and too much goo in the rest. It fills in the grit.

My question is what is the drying time of Createx and can you mix it with alcohol to speed drying time?...doe

-I don't mix it with alcohol, my paper is usually dry in 20 min. Just time for a break.

Another question - do you mount your paper on matboard first? and another do you paint these on location?...doe

-No I don't mount it. I tape it to my easel board. I do use this method on location, taping it to my foamcore board.

-My paper isn't taped like watercolor paper, since it's so heavily compressed to run through the coating mill. It expands more and shrinks back more than watercolor paper. I do not tape along the entire edge, the paper will expand on the tape, look corrugated and be prevented by the tape from flattening again.

-I use 2 pieces of tape no longer than 4" at each corner. The first piece is applied to the BACK, leaving 1/4" protruding from the side, a 1/4' x4" tab. The second piece is taped to that tab and attaches the paper to the board, leaving the entire surface free of tape. Tape doesn't stick well to the sanded surface, so this creates a more firm attachment.

-When the underpainting is done, but still wet, I lift the bottom two tapes from the board and stretch the paper across the bottom and down ftom the center of the paper. Repeat with the top two tapes. Don't pull too hard, It won't look entirely flat when it's stretched, but it will continue to shrink as it dries and will dry flat.

-This method works even if I've left some white dry areas.

Kitty

marshallgh
03-16-2004, 02:31 PM
Kitty,
I can't wait to receive my Wallis paper and give it a try.
Thanks,
Terry :clap:

Meisie
03-17-2004, 03:44 AM
A WIP or article would be very much appreciated!!

Meisie

MKathleen
03-17-2004, 04:28 PM
:) Hi Kitty, thank you for giving us all this information on your sanded pastel paper. I just bought the 9" x 12" pad and I have finished one painting and am working on a second. It did take a little getting use too but the effects is well worth the getting use too. I haven't tried toning using paint or scrubing yet but at some point will for sure.
I hope you will consider a WIP, Project using your Wallis Paper and using the Publisher for a Kitty Wallis Article. We have many fine pastellist in this forum who along with myself can learn from you. :)
Kathy

Kitty Wallis
03-19-2004, 03:26 AM
Hi Kathy,


I'm gearing up to show my work on WC. I think a demo about underpainting would be first. I still have to update my computer and software so it will be awhile.

K

:) Hi Kitty, thank you for giving us all this information on your sanded pastel paper.

I hope you will consider a WIP, Project using your Wallis Paper and using the Publisher for a Kitty Wallis Article. We have many fine pastellist in this forum who along with myself can learn from you. :)
Kathy

drced
04-23-2004, 09:54 PM
Hello Kitty, I`am so glad to see you on wet canvas, I have been using your paper for several years there is nothing like it. I teach a pastel class, and my students have now advanced from Canson to Wallis paper..... Happy Painting
Louise Eaton

Kitty Wallis
04-23-2004, 09:56 PM
Thanks Louise and congratulations to you and your class for going for the best. Some don't.

Orchidacea
04-25-2004, 09:59 AM
Yes, yes, an article or WIP, pretty-please!!!



O

Kitty Wallis
04-25-2004, 05:31 PM
Yes, yes, an article or WIP, pretty-please!!!
O

Thanks for the encouragement. I'm looking forward to learning how to do that and interacting with the WC folks that way.

I won't be available for a coupla weeks; I'm traveling. Boston for a trade show 4/29/-5/2 and Cape Cod to visit friends. Back May 13 in time to teach a class. 2-3 days to recover, I might be ready by late May.