Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Waiting for Paint to Dry

Today I finished the underpainting of the current piece that I started yesterday. My underpaintings are very thin layers of oil paint that enables me to figure out shapes and color, while "priming" the panel with some paint so that the next layers go on more smoothly. In addition, since I am working on a gessoed panel, it's usually hard for me to get a really dark brown on on the first coat. By doing an underpainting, the panel absorbs enough of the dark pigment so that the next layer goes on darker and less patchy.

I usually do three layers of paint: 1. underpainting, 2. second, more defining layer, 3. highlights and accents. I really need the underpainting to dry before adding the next layer, because if I don't, the paint just lifts off the panel when I try to add the next layer. It can get pretty patchy looking if I don't wait.

So, while I was waiting for the underpainting to dry, I decided to start the underpainting for a second piece. I can already tell I will be getting "hate" emails begging me not to cover the eyes of this next one...

This what I started with this morning.

Tehehe...floating head!

The underpainting completed. Final size of the painting is 30"x24". I
 really like having the large amount of white space on top.

Here's the painting I started while I was waiting for the paint to dry on the above piece:

This painting is 16"x16"'s a small one!

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