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Old 10-04-2017, 03:01 PM
scmelik scmelik is online now
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Underpainting question

I have a question for the collective masses. I am working on the attached image from the reference library. Right now I am working on my umber portion of the painting and want to do the graislle with the complementary color. In this case since the main subject is the cherries I am thinking of a green under painting. Unfortunately all I have for green is sap green and phthalo green. I know if a green underpainting is used it's typically a terra verta or green earth but I don't have either of those. Is using either of the two greens that I have a quick enough drying green and an acceptable color to use in this situation?
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Old 10-04-2017, 03:37 PM
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Re: Underpainting question

Phthalo Green is acceptable color to use for underpainting. It has perfect lightfastness and quick drying properties.

I use it in mixture with Yellow ochre or Gold ochre. Color of that mixture is very close to color of real Green Earth.
Burnt Sienna can give a deeper "Green Earth" color!

Just add a small amount of Phthalo Green into Golden Ochre paint pile. For the best result, use Linseed oil based PY43 paint. If you like to boost opacity, add a touch of Titanium-Zinc White (Permalba White is great).
To boost drying time add a touch of Galkyd or Liquin.

Last edited by Gigalot : 10-04-2017 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 10-04-2017, 03:54 PM
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Re: Underpainting question

Considering that Blue Cyan is actually the complementary of Red, you could mix burnt umber and Prussian Blue to obtain a really fast drying underpainting for the cherries, you just need to find the correct proportion through trial and error.

This particular combination dries overnight. Now, going back to color theory, Green is the complementary of Magenta
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Old 10-04-2017, 04:37 PM
scmelik scmelik is online now
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Re: Underpainting question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Humbaba
Considering that Blue Cyan is actually the complementary of Red, you could mix burnt umber and Prussian Blue to obtain a really fast drying underpainting for the cherries, you just need to find the correct proportion through trial and error.

This particular combination dries overnight. Now, going back to color theory, Green is the complementary of Magenta



I wish I had some Prussian blue but I've yet to order any so I'd like to stick with the paint that I've got.
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Old 10-04-2017, 06:04 PM
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Alan P. in OC Alan P. in OC is online now
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Re: Underpainting question

A grisaille, by definition, is a gray-monochrome painting. Do you wish to use a gray-tinted-green color, or just mix green with white?

Personally, with the choices you've given, I'd mix a little sap green into neutral gray tones and use that. That's based on the fact that A. my sap green, Michael Harding brand, dries quickly, and B. a phtalo dries slower and is way, way more powerful in chroma; you'll be needing an atom of pthalo for a pea-sized bit of gray paint.
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Old 10-04-2017, 06:09 PM
scmelik scmelik is online now
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Re: Underpainting question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan P. in OC
A grisaille, by definition, is a gray-monochrome painting. Do you wish to use a gray-tinted-green color, or just mix green with white?

Personally, with the choices you've given, I'd mix a little sap green into neutral gray tones and use that. That's based on the fact that A. my sap green, Michael Harding brand, dries quickly, and B. a phtalo dries slower and is way, way more powerful in chroma; you'll be needing an atom of pthalo for a pea-sized bit of gray paint.


Alan,

My initial plan was to just mix green and white, although trying to mix neutral gray and mixing some green with it might be a better idea, right now I really don't know what I'm gonna do.
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Old 10-04-2017, 06:19 PM
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Re: Underpainting question

For an underpainting that you will be using as a base image over which to apply glaze layers of color, the most important attribute is that of value--lights, and darks. While specific colors can be used to enhance the colors that will be glazed over it, placing values in position, with their exact shapes, and positons, is more important.

As Alan recommends, a nice low-chroma, off-gray, greenish sort of an underpainting is very appropriate. It will serve the purpose effectively, and I have employed just such an underpainting in the past, for my flower, and still-life paintings.

Sometimes artists will recommend using an underpainting consisting of the complementary colors to that of the final painting, and although I have never tried that, some swear by it. If you should choose to go that route, Gigalot's suggestion that Cyan (Thalo Blue) would be an appropriate complement to that of Red Cherries, is spot on.
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Last edited by WFMartin : 10-04-2017 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 10-04-2017, 06:23 PM
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Re: Underpainting question

Quote:
Originally Posted by scmelik
Alan,

My initial plan was to just mix green and white, although trying to mix neutral gray and mixing some green with it might be a better idea, right now I really don't know what I'm gonna do.

What is the purpose of your underpainting. Do you just want to do a monochrome underpainting to work out the values and composition? Or do you want to use a complementary underpainting to create that visual vibration that can occur when complementary colors interact with one another (usually by allowing a hint of the underpainting to show through)?

If it is the first, then any sort of "grayish" color wold work fine. If it is the latter, then any approximate complementaries will work (including green as the complementary of red).

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Old 10-04-2017, 06:35 PM
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Re: Underpainting question

You said you want to stick with what you have. Well, do it, but make sure you thin the paint with turpentine, or OMS before proceeding, this will help with the drying process.
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Old 10-04-2017, 06:42 PM
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Re: Underpainting question

Hope this can help:
http://karlzipser.com/2006/11/a-pain...eral-days.html

BTW, some artists use monochrome underpainting, but some of them also did colorful underpaintings. I guess, you decided to try colorful one. I like how Whistler worked for that.
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Old 10-04-2017, 07:12 PM
scmelik scmelik is online now
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Re: Underpainting question

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAK723
What is the purpose of your underpainting. Do you just want to do a monochrome underpainting to work out the values and composition? Or do you want to use a complementary underpainting to create that visual vibration that can occur when complementary colors interact with one another (usually by allowing a hint of the underpainting to show through)?

If it is the first, then any sort of "grayish" color wold work fine. If it is the latter, then any approximate complementaries will work (including green as the complementary of red).

Don

Don,

That is a very good questions and the simple answer is “yes”.

One of my biggest issues as I have been learning to paint is my value control, seeing and reproducing the correct values that I need while mixing color at the same time. I tend to really get bogged down with the color that I stop paying attention to the value. My hope that if I just put the colors down and concentrated more on the values that my learning and understanding of what the heck I was doing would both become better.

I was also doing some reading this weekend about the benefits of doing a complimentary underpainting and so I thought that if I was going to do an value specific underpainting that maybe I would give doing a complimentary underpainting at the same time if it would work out correctly. I could just as easily as anything use raw umber for my underpainting but I thought why not, I could essentially kill two birds with one stone.
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Old 10-04-2017, 07:18 PM
scmelik scmelik is online now
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Re: Underpainting question

I want to collectively thank all of you. I knew by posting I would get some great responses from some and be able to learn something. I couldn’t imagine trying to learn how to paint without this site and it never ceases to amaze me how much knowledge and willingness to help this place has. So again thank you all that have replied so far.
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Old 10-05-2017, 10:22 AM
kin3 kin3 is offline
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Re: Underpainting question

Quote:
Originally Posted by scmelik
I want to collectively thank all of you. I knew by posting I would get some great responses from some and be able to learn something. I couldn’t imagine trying to learn how to paint without this site and it never ceases to amaze me how much knowledge and willingness to help this place has. So again thank you all that have replied so far.


I second that.
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Old 10-05-2017, 11:29 PM
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Re: Underpainting question

Quote:
Originally Posted by scmelik
Don,

That is a very good questions and the simple answer is “yes”.

One of my biggest issues as I have been learning to paint is my value control, seeing and reproducing the correct values that I need while mixing color at the same time. I tend to really get bogged down with the color that I stop paying attention to the value. My hope that if I just put the colors down and concentrated more on the values that my learning and understanding of what the heck I was doing would both become better.

I was also doing some reading this weekend about the benefits of doing a complimentary underpainting and so I thought that if I was going to do an value specific underpainting that maybe I would give doing a complimentary underpainting at the same time if it would work out correctly. I could just as easily as anything use raw umber for my underpainting but I thought why not, I could essentially kill two birds with one stone.

If your primary goal is to map out your values in the underpainting, then I would stick with a basically monochromatic underpainting. It is much easier to see values when not having to deal with color. If you try a complementary underpainting, then once again you are dealing with both value and color and it is much easier to lose track of the values. Just a thought.

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Old 10-06-2017, 03:54 AM
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Re: Underpainting question

If you try gray scale underpainting, then you can lost much of color saturation.
After applying transparent glaze on gray underpainting, you will get less saturated color. Complementary colored underpainting can also give you lower saturation. Then, to improve color range you must overpaint poor color with opaque chromatic paint and therefore you can miss value range. That needs a lot of routine work. When do overworking, you can lost initial idea and initial beauty with more boring painting result. However, when you do copy from digital projector using photography transfered image, the "lost of initial idea" is not a problem because all ideas are including into digital image. But if you provide your own painting idea without exact photo-transfered image, (on plein-air), then that can be a problem.

I think, that light, colorful underpainting with optimal colors can give more "fresh" result.

Last edited by Gigalot : 10-06-2017 at 03:56 AM.
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