|“Summer Pasture,” 7” x 9” mixed watermedia on cold press illustration board. |
Copyright, Sara Light-Waller, 2015
“Underpainting” refers to the laying down of an initial wash of color before the rest of the painting (which I’ll refer to here as “overpainting.”) It's a traditional way of unifying a composition through color.
For the underpainting in "Summer Pasture" I used a graded wash of yellow to yellow-orange acrylic. When this was dry I did the overpainting in watercolor and gouache. Because acrylic won’t move when dry, I was able to lift off color bringing back the original yellow/yellow-orange color as needed.
I’m pleased with “Summer Pasture.” The underpainting pulls the composition together, giving the feeling of warmth and strong sun. Though the colors are somewhat unrealistic, they imply realism, which I like. I find the juxtaposition of translucent color (gouache) next to transparent watercolor satisfying. And the brightness of the gouache adds interesting “pop” to the painting.