Amanda Mclean

Pas­tel Per­spec­tives Part 12-Un­der­paint­ing Tech­nique

International Artist - - Contents - Amanda Mclean

Inthe last is­sue we dis­cussed un­der­paint­ing us­ing pas­tel, wa­ter and odour­less medium. This time, I would like to look at un­der­paint­ing us­ing paint—pri­mar­ily the wa­ter medi­ums.

I don’t like to mix my oil and wa­ter medi­ums much. I like to un­der­paint some of my pas­tels us­ing wa­ter-based paints—wa­ter­colour, acrylics and gouache can all be used. I steer away from oils, as I men­tioned last month I am wary of the long-term dam­age they may do to the pa­per. Wa­ter­colour is OK if you are un­der­paint­ing on white pa­per, but it gets lost on many coloured pa­pers.

Un­like wa­ter­colour, gouache and acrylic are opaque, so they are per­fect for un­der­paint­ing on both white and coloured pa­per. They will how­ever need to be di­luted, so as not to fill up the tooth of the pa­per. It’s also es­sen­tial that you use a pa­per that can take wet me­dia.

Why un­der­paint? Be­cause you can. It’s fun and a dif­fer­ent way of work­ing. It’s a chance to splash a bit of paint and wa­ter around if your cho­sen pa­per colour is not right in some ar­eas, or if you are us­ing a pa­per colour you don’t like (in my case it is of­ten white). It is also a dif­fer­ent way of block­ing in your sub­ject.

Un­der­paint­ing can be quite loose, or added over a drawn in sub­ject. If you are us­ing a coloured pa­per, you may only need to un­der­paint cer­tain ar­eas, al­low­ing the tone of the pa­per to work for you in other ar­eas.

To be­gin, you should de­cide what you are go­ing to un­der­paint. Once again don’t get too in­volved in de­tail; re­mem­ber, you are just paint­ing in the foun­da­tions of the paint­ing not the whole thing. It should be done with di­luted paint and a big brush.

Once you have done your loose un­der­paint­ing, al­low it to dry com­pletely be­fore be­gin­ning to ap­ply your pas­tel lay­ers over the top. Don’t fall into the trap of putting in too much de­tail in the un­der­paint­ing. De­tail in the early stages of a paint­ing al­ways gets in the way of the big­ger un­der­ly­ing shapes. We also tend to get “pre­cious” about it and try­ing to pre­serve it, of­ten at the ex­pense of what is to come. This is true too for any pas­tel work, not just un­der-paint­ing.

The un­der­paint­ing can be left un­touched in some ar­eas and com­pletely cov­ered in oth­ers. It can be treated like any block-in or you can make a fea­ture of it. How much of the un­der­paint­ing is left vis­i­ble might be a cue as to how to clas­sify your work. That is, a work in pas­tel, or mixed me­dia, or pas­tel and gouache, etc.

Storm over Bedul­luck (de­tail), pas­tel on Su­per­tooth Colour­fix Pa­per with wa­ter­colour un­der­paint­ing, 18 x 45 cm (7 x 18") Su­per­tooth is a creamy white pa­per so for me, un­der­paint­ing was a nat­u­ral choice, as I don’t like to work on white or very light pa­pers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.