Friday, June 10, 2016


Many painters like to go straight for the final color and skip the all important first wash of foundation colors.  The underpainting can do several things:

1.  It replaces the pure white paper with a colored light    value.

2.  It provides a color that, when other colors are place on top of it, creates a new hue.  For example,
yellow and blue make green, so why not put down a first wash of yellow and then, when it dries,
place a blue on top to make the green.

3.  An underpainting gives the painting a color theme.  When you leave some of it showing, it creates
a unity throughout the piece.

In this painting of Dingman's Falls in eastern Pennsylvania, you can see pinkish and yellow tones in the light tones of the rocks, and the even in the falls.  Also, I usually start any clump of foliage with a yellow wash first, even if most of it is covered up by subsequent washes.

I still have openings for my Boothbay Harbor workshop August 29 - September 2.  Email inquiries to    

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