Monday, December 3, 2012

Soft Underpainting

Building a painting is like building a house.  You need to establish a good foundation first.  Sometimes, I like to lay down a soft underpainting to establish a unity of color.  Usually two colors will do it.  Then I place the subject matter on top of that, using the same colors and possibly another one or two colors in the same family.

The subject of this painting is St. Francis de Sales cathedral in South St. Louis.  This church has the highest spire in all of St. Louis.  To suggest a spiritual feeling, I refrained from suggesting any vegetation that would hint at a physical place.  And  I decided to keep the bottom of the building soft, undefined and light so the emphasis would be on the facade of the church.

Here also is the preliminary wash to illustrate what I meant about the soft underpainting.

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