Thursday, August 4, 2011

John Deere 2640 underpainting; in-progress oil on panel by Paul Baldassini

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“If we did all the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves.” — Thomas Edison

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I've been very busy during these summer months with commercial work.  The bulk of the work was a large estate archive from a New Hampshire family who commissioned me to restore 160 of their family photographs.  This in addition to my regular theater arts graphic design advertising and marketing projects allowed me very little time to develop new work.  But I did manage to pick away at a new painting during the down time between client approvals and have finally finished the underpainting.

With the composition laid out, I completed the underpainting, again using Quinacridone Magenta (Sennelier) straight out of the tube. As usual, I’m painting on a primed panel — 1/2-inch MDF sealed and primed with two coats of latex exterior white housepaint and two coats of Gamblin Oil Painting Ground, a mixture of alkyd resin, titanium dioxide and barium sulfate — no lead. Trim size of this panel is 30 1/2 x 24 inches.

I’ve tried many different  underpainting colors including Burnt Sienna (nice), Transparent Red Oxide, Burnt Umber, Raw Umber, Raw Sienna (nice for plein air), and Asphaltum (the worst).  For my modified glaze & scumble technique, I’m convinced that Quinacridone Magenta is the perfect underpainting color.  Its transparent, not overly dark, dries fast and greens painted over the rich pinkish underpainting just glow.  In fact every color painted over this underpainting color has this magical and elusive quality that I’ve never been able to replicate any other way.

If you paint landscapes either plein air or in the studio and rely on a monochrome underpainting to block in your composition, give Quinacridone Magenta a try and let me know what you think.

Thanks for visiting.


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