View Full Version : Introduction and question

10-02-2005, 08:10 PM

Nice to have found WC where one can find so many helpful people with the same intrest as myself.

My name is Jani, I'm 27 years old and started painting in acrylics about 2 weeks ago, I have drawn some stuff and painted a bit with watercolor in the past, but acrylics feels like my medium...
First i just experimented with the colors and. Now I have a couple of paintings that I work on and just wanted to ask some questions and get some comments one of the paintings.

The painting in question is one of the wounderful picture of apples and pot by Jade fox in the Reference Image Library.

The question is, as this is the first painting in which I've used a underpainting, about the level of detail that should be on the underpainting. The level I'm aiming at approximately is that of the upper apple in the attached image, is that about right or should it be more/less detailed lighter/darker and so on... I would also like some comments on if you think something other than the level of detail is wrong in the picture...

The distortion in the pot is because the painting is on watercolour paper that has warped a bit. And the apple in the pot and the background is in no way finished :p...

I'll probaby come with some new questions as the underpainting is done and I get nervous about glazing it. Guess im just a nervous newbie :rolleyes:

Thanks in advance /Jani

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Oct-2005/68580-DSCN1912.1.JPG (http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/Uploader/upload_image_save2.php#)

lani noa
10-02-2005, 08:29 PM
As you are new to acrylics, I would say, "Yes" acrylics are definitely your medium. You have done a very fine job. The amount of detail is great. I would get on with the painting. Sooner or later you will find exactly the correct amount of underpainting for you, it actually is an individual thing. Have fun, enjoy, and welcome to acrylics.

10-02-2005, 08:41 PM
Hi Jani, welcome to the acrylics forum! :wave:

The purpose of an underpainting is to determine the tones within a painting. Therefore, your underpainting should resemble the reference image in monochrome.
The more work you put in now, the easier your glazing will be.

What poundage paper are you working with? It's a little worrying that it is buckling up at this stage when you still have your glazes to add.
If you prefer the paper surface to canvas, might I suggest you try watercolour board, I've found it to be excellent for this approach.
I also like Bockingford 200lb in block form.
You could always atach your paper to some board now by using some medium, I haven't ever tried this myself but I know others have and with much success.

Your painting is already looking very good, especially for 2 weeks experience in acrylics. I particularly like the texture you have achieved in your apples.
I sure hope that paper holds out for you so we can see this glazed.

It's always good to know some details about your piece, eg. what size is it? What colours are you using?

Look fwd to seeing you around the forum! :)

10-03-2005, 05:40 AM
Or, the underpaintings can be a specific effort to lay down hues that will 'shine' through. In other words, you could underpaint an apple in green knowing that your finished apple will be red but wanting bits of green to sparkle through and show gently through a transparent glaze. My underpaintings are all based on colour showing through, rather than the traditional monochrome idea. :)

I think you're done really well here! Like the others said, everyone underpaints differently so you need to decide how much detail you need. If you only want to apply colour in very transparent glazes then your underpaintings might need to be highly detailed. If you're going over in fully opaque paint and the underpaintings is just a guide then it doesn't need as much detail. And then there's all the places inbetween those two approaches. :D


10-03-2005, 09:05 AM
Great start to a painting! I've learned from the answers as well. Thanks everyone. :) Pam

10-03-2005, 10:32 AM
The question is, as this is the first painting in which I've used a underpainting, about the level of detail that should be on the underpainting.As much or as little as you want really.

One traditional painting technique involves an almost complete monochromatic painting which you then colour with glazes, plus additional opaque colour to re-establish highlights and so forth. It's not uncommon today though for painters to lay in a sketchy image in thin paint (often using a colour like Burnt Umber) just to quickly establish the basic drawing and the most basic value structure - the darks and lights mostly - and then work on top of this, often only using opaque and/or thick paint.

The distortion in the pot is because the painting is on watercolour paper that has warped a bit. It's often a good idea to stretch or mount thinner papers that are prone to buckling (called cockling sometimes) when you use a lot of water.


10-05-2005, 05:32 PM
Hi everybody. :wave:

Thanks for all the nice replies and encouraging words :)..
I did as Nitsa said and used some medium to attach it to a board, and it worked nicely. I haven't been able to paint a lot on it in the past couple of days but will work some on it tonight. I feel a lot more confident in what to do with it now so I'll try to finish the underpainting tonight and then start the glazing, wish me luck :p...

Well don't you think I did a stupid mistake when taking tha paper, it was supposed to be 250g/m2 (guess that should equate to about 100-120lb, as 200lb seems to be about 425g/m2) but on the top I had laid some thinner paper so it actualy only had a poundage of perhaps 60lb, well well, one learns by mistakes I've heard :cool:... Actually I do have some stretched canvases to paint on, and like it more than paper but tis was only suposed to be a quick test of a still life picture that I just fell in love with :)... I'm in the process of gessoing some of the canvases to get a nice smooth surface to work on, as I have a painting on Grand Canyon I'm working on that is on a non smoothed canvas and that makes it a lot harder to get the small details I like to paint :envy:..

Yeah, I guess one pretty quickly learns how one should do the underpainting and the other things, but it is really scary the first time one thinks about glazing a painting one have painted on for several hours and just think "I'll just ruin it.", but all of you have made me a lot more confident.

Some info about the painting above:
approx 8x10inches in size, the colors used in the underpainting is Raw Sienna, Burnt Umber and Titanium White, and some water and Glazing medium to thin the paint to a easy to work with consistency.

I use mostly Liquitex Heavy Body paints, started out with a starter kit with system 3 from daler-rowney, but when the acryllic bug bit me i started bying Liquitex and like them a lot :)...

Well thats o lot of text and I won't bore you more right now :angel:, but will be reading and posting here from time to time. And I'll probably post more photos later so you can see whats happening with it and some of my other paintings :p.

Thanks again everybody, real good advice, I really appreciate it... :clap::clap::clap: to you all :)...


10-06-2005, 04:15 AM
Hej Jani! Newbies from Sweden UNITE! ;)

I will enjoy watching your progress, this has potential. :)

10-06-2005, 07:36 AM
Jani, so pleased you managed to salvage your piece by mounting it..Excellent! :clap:
Look fwd to seeing your progress! :)

10-06-2005, 07:41 PM
A uppdate =)

Well, a couple more hours spent on the painting and I'm getting pretty happy with it :)... just some stuff to do... like the higlight in foremost apple is not perfect, and that darned apple in the pot that has to be a BAD APPLE ;) as it's impossible to paint so it looks good.. but I'll give it one more go... If anyone has a tip on how to paint that sucker I'll be very happy... Then I have some more details to add to the pot and fix the rim of it..

C&c is welcomed if you think something should be changed or just comment some on it :). Sorry about the less than perfect picture of it but hard to take a good picture in artificial lighting (any tips on how to not get any reflections in it).

Colors used thus far are: Raw sienna, titanium white, burnt umber, and added some ultramarine to the burnt umber in the darkest shadows...

Hi, nice to se another swede here, you have some real nice work done yourself, incredible portrait drawing in the Sci/Fi section :clap:...

Thanks again for the tip. Really didn't want to lose this painting, had already put lots of work in it :). Hope I can get as good as you in acrylics, a lot of incredible paintings on your webpages :clap:

Bye for now

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Oct-2005/68580-DSCN1927.2.jpg (http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/Uploader/upload_image_save2.php#)

10-06-2005, 11:02 PM
You know what's wrong with the apple in the pot?

The way it is sitting - it could be any roundish object! The landmarks of form that differeniate an apple from any other sphere based object are hidden.

Tilt it, flip it bottom side up, or something, so that one of the ends is showing - then it couldn't be an orange, or a ball, or the head of a very small bald person. ;)

10-07-2005, 05:32 AM
On the apple in the pot, I have to agree on what WRoget said. If I were to guess what it would be in your picture, I'd say a peach. It looks a bit too.. fluffy? Maybe if you add some more details, like the strokes you have on the other apples, and add a bit more highlight it would look better. :)

It's looking very good this far, I really like the colors you're using. It looks so.. calm and warm. :D

10-07-2005, 08:32 AM
Looking good!

I would continue glazing thin layers, wait for them to dry and then repeat to build some real depth in the colours, right now it is still looking very much monochrome...although this could be the photo/my screen.

Has a nice glow!

10-07-2005, 09:41 AM
I'd be happy with this too. Nice job. It's shaded very well. I like the handle on the pot. The bottom left corner of the pot looks a bit too square. Maybe you could lose it in the shadow more. I don't remember what the ref pic looks like in that area though.

10-07-2005, 02:03 PM
Great timing for this thread, Jani as it is exactly what I am exploring now.:D

I am learning so much from following the exchanges between you all.
Very nice WIP!!
:cool: Jon