Painting today

Iced in.  Took the day off and spent a good part of it underpainting a grid/ripple pattern on a 20 inch square oil primed linen canvas in alternating warm and cold grisailles.  Finished the cold (Raw Umber and Ultramarine), and I’m up to step three of the warm (a more complex mixture for some reason: Mainly Raw Umber, with Raw Sienna, Transparent Earth Red, Viridian, & Quinacidrone Red – it looks like brown shoe polish).  Both the cool and the warm are mixed in strings with a white that is combined Flake White, whose leanness should work well for the underpainting, and Mamieri White Earth, which is low tinting and somewhat gritty, and makes the white more transparent. Small amounts of turps and medium were used to loosen the mixtures some as needed.

Here’s the painting after I finished painting in the cool neutrals:

Here it is after I painted the alternate bands in the warm neutrals:

The plan is to overpaint this in colors that will transverse the canvas in decreasing chroma and will be mixed in strings as well, with a somewhat more opaque white, so part of the overpainting will be in glazes and part in scumbles.  The underpainting will establish the values, the overpainting, the hues.

The basic idea of this process has been used for centuries, painting the underpainting in values and then coloring it in.  For the most part, it separates the question of value from the question of hue – tackle one, then the other.  The idea of the underpainted warm/cold areas here is to compliment the overpainted colors in those areas – the underpainting already approaches the idea of color with low chroma hues of red/orange (warm) and blue/green (cool).  It’s amazing how their interaction already hints at shades of Lavender and Green, but the overcolor hues are still to be determined. We’ll see how well it works.

More pictures soon. This grew out of stuff I was playing with on my previous painting, the much looser and quite a bit larger Ripple. Which is nearly done, will have pictures soon.

update: Ripple, finished.

second update, 1/4, added images to this post.

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