07 May 2007

Four underpaintings - Winter scene


I've been wanting to paint a winter scene from an old issue of Yankee magazine. It's very simple: White snow, grey sky, a single evergreen tree, and a maroon house with snow on the roof.

However, when I started the canvas in oils... ick. You can see it in the photo at left. I stared at that for about three weeks, feeling very uninspired.

Then, I realized the problem: I need a good underpainting to make it interesting. So, I just underpainted one canvas and three pieces of gesso'd corrugated cardboard (for preliminary oil sketches) with Maimeri acrylic paints. The result is at right.

The blue areas will go underneath the white snow. The orange-ish areas are the underpaintings for a flat grey winter sky.

Most people will have no idea that such vivid colors are underneath each landscape, but I'm hoping that these will make a big difference in how interesting the finished paintings are.

Of course, that's why I'll be creating a few oil sketches before I work on the canvas. The canvas is the tall skinny painting in the middle, and it's 6" x 12".

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