Layering. . .

Spring Thaw  .  8 x 10  .  oil on linen

AND the value of an underpainting. Those of us who paint in layers with attention to the most subtle of details, find our happiest results when beginning with an underpainting.  It can be a simple wash to get rid of the intimidating stark white of your support, or it can perhaps be a whisper of the painting to come -  showing definitions such as a horizon line or a mountain range.  There's the beautiful "peeking out" of your underpainting in your finished work that tends to make people ask how you did it!   Spring Thaw, above, is a great example as is Hawaiian Rooster, shown below:

For me, layering is most effective when painting landscapes, but certainly it can be utilized in the background of portraits too.  The texture it provides only serves to emphasize the smoothness and luminous quality of skin if used judiciously. 

Here you'll see a couple of future underpainted works:

These landscapes are already telling a story and the "blueprint" only aids in achieving my vision!

In the studio, I've just completed a figurative portrait and also shipped a painting.  In response to the shipped painting I received a text that also speaks to value.  

"Arrived about an hour ago. . .it's beautiful and your professional way of declaring ownership and presentation rivals any fine arts house.  I love it and thank you." ~ SPP

Building value (whether in an underpainting, or in the servicing of your patrons honoring your work by a purchase) can be the cornerstone of a solid reputation.  It goes without saying that you, as an artist, should always be focused on creating not only beauty, but an archival piece of art worthy of a long life.  


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