In the first of a two-part article, Anand Radhakris hnan examines underpainting using burnt umber and white, and discusses the merits of painting in layers
Anand Radhakrishnan’s tips.
The underpainting sits under a number of mostly transparent layers of paint. It’s generally a monochrome version of the finished painting, and would usually be worked upon in a system of thin layers of colour called glazes.
There are many reasons why the multiple-step process of underpainting and glazing is preferred by some artists. First, underpainting establishes the composition, and makes it possible to apply changes and corrections at an early stage without involving colour. It also fixes the value scheme that will most probably remain the same until the painting’s finished. Second, it makes it easier to model form without the added complexity of mixing colours. The glazes of colour will add to the underpainting without running the risk of blending or muddying.
The most popular ways of creating an underpainting are: bistre, where the underpainting is warm and transparent using the wipe-out method; grisaille, which involves neutral greys; and verdaccio, the process that uses a greenish-grey underpainting.
For this article, I’ve chosen to paint a composition where I can render and paint three different materials: skin, velvet cloth and glass using burnt umber and titanium white. Although the final result of this month’s instalment is still a workin-progress, I can proceed to add colour to it once dry using glazes, then work on the subtleties and details at a later stage – find out more next issue!
Anand is a freelance illustrator who lives and works in Mumbai. See more of his art at www.behance.net/anandrk