Something I've learned [Archive] - Artist Forum

: Something I've learned

03-12-2015, 05:21 AM
I'm finding that if I underpaint the portraits that I work on they come out much better. The last few I've done I've underpainted with acrylic first and then applied the oil. However a screw up in the underpainting is very very difficult to hide with the oil. Oil tends to be translucent or even transparent and you just can't cover up a blunder of dark acrylic paint with oil. Not even with Titanium White which is supposedly opaque will do it. Obviously not really opaque.

03-12-2015, 08:07 PM
It didn't occur to me that oil wouldn't be capable of covering over a mistake.

03-13-2015, 11:47 AM
Well that is interesting. I am not a painter but this information is useful to know if I ever decide to pick it up. I didn't realize that about oil either.

03-13-2015, 12:02 PM
Well if the oil is a very dark color like Umber Brown it can block out the acrylic under it as long as the acrylic is a lighter color, but anything lighter will not block out a darker acrylic under it. It shows through kind of like a shadow and I'm thinking that is the whole logic behind underpainting. What would be the need to underpaint if there were no effect from it.

What I'm thinking about doing Liz is the next time I paint a white animal like that white on that dog I did awhile back I'm going to underpaint it with blue acryllic and put the white oil on top. I believe it would give me the effect of the dog really looking white. It's worth the try anyway.

03-16-2015, 11:24 PM
The blue underpainting for the white dog seems like a good idea. If you get around to doing it, post the painting, I'm curious how it would look.

I was also thinking maybe the brand of paint affects how well it would cover over.

03-17-2015, 06:10 AM
Ben Lustenhower a professional portrait artist says the same thing about oil paint. I'm sure he uses the very best quality paint. It's just a matter of knowing how the paint works and using it to your advantage.

Susan Mulno
04-16-2015, 06:10 PM
Good to know.

04-22-2015, 04:23 PM
Thanks for sharing this.. good info to know!

05-01-2015, 05:32 PM
The blue underpainting for the white dog seems like a good idea. If you get around to doing it, post the painting, I'm curious how it would look.

I was also thinking maybe the brand of paint affects how well it would cover over.

I didn't do a white dog, but I did use a blue/grey undercoating on the white of the tiger's fur and I'm really happy with the results. I think that blue or grey underpainting on a white animal is the way to go.

Susan Mulno
05-01-2015, 06:31 PM
That's beautiful! Thw white does pop but looks natural.

06-14-2015, 11:39 AM
:) Underpainting is a great technique for creating the big picture in advance. Like creating a black and white photo and then glazing in color. The old masters in Europe would establish their ground color (grey, or warm effect sienna) then sketch in subject matter when surface is dry. Then look at subject matter and paint/sketch in dark and shadow areas using a fanning brush to delete brushstroke. After that dries they would go back and highlight (white) all subject matter as if taken in photograph (fanned out brushstroke); different than highlighting general areas.,+oils,+art&biw=1440&bih=799&tbm=isch&imgil=F8XvN-yeiICd7M%253A%253BrVeQvzVOxZ_MOM%253Bhttp%25253A%2 25253DvK9KVRH3Qm4&source=iu&pf=m&fir=F8XvN-yeiICd7M%253A%252CrVeQvzVOxZ_MOM%252C_&usg=__lRIEm1Enbll_Ct7sfLS2NToNwn8%3D&ved=0CCcQyjdqFQoTCLPdtqDKj8YCFQcUkgodS9gARg&ei=eqh9VbO4OIeoyATLsIOwBA#imgrc=F8XvN-yeiICd7M%253A%3BrVeQvzVOxZ_MOM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%25 watch%253Fv%253DvK9KVRH3Qm4%3B1280%3B720

06-14-2015, 02:10 PM
I tried this technique with the self portrait I've been doing and it's worked pretty well. Underpainting in burnt umber with some highlights in white. I didn't bother with the 'dead' layer that some masters employed.

Then after just applying very thin layers, kind of like sfumato I guess, but I don't have the skill to do it correctly. It's a slow process but I'm happy with the results so far.

06-14-2015, 02:46 PM
Thanks for the video Orange...with 4 kids in the room it's impossible to watch but I do plan to view it as soon as they leave in and hour and 15 minutes (not that I'm counting).

06-14-2015, 06:04 PM
I just watched that video on underpainting produced by the Art Academy that you posted Orange. It is very informative but the level of art they are talking about is so above me it's like me trying to see the flag left on the moon just by looking up at it at night.

06-20-2015, 06:23 PM
Any errors it is possible to fix the oil painting. If the oil has dried up, there are two ways: 1. rinse the paint strong restoration thinner. 2. to cover the top opaque paint. On each tube of paint is specified the degree of transparency in the square or in a circle. Black square is opaque, half-black is half-opaque, white is transparent. If opaque paint, such as titanium white, is still transparent, it means poor quality paint.