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Web Art Academy Lessons

odalisque-Ingres

Underpainting by Ingres.

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Welcome back! Today I wanted to share these great videos which show some painting techniques that the masters applied. If you are new to painting like me, or just looking to learn some different techniques, check out these videos by the Web Art Academy.

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Underpainting by Pieter Bruegel.

Underpainting

The underpainting, aside from designing and sketching, is the first layer of your painting.  It’s also known as “Dead Painting” if you are mostly working with values and not colors. I’m not experienced enough with painting to give you my own advice, but from what I understand there is a “Fat over Lean” rule that will help you avoid cracking paint. This video will briefly explain it, but it only pertains to oil painting. It has to do with the drying times of the paint. If the upper layer dries quicker than the bottom layer it will most likely crack because the lower layer can still move and squiggle around. I’ve seen some artists use quick dry mediums or acrylics for the underpainting (bottom layer), then, once dry, apply a top layer of oil paint and glazes. If you are painting oil on top of oil they will most likely mix and dry at the same pace.

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Underpainting by Da Vinci.

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Underpainting of Vermeer copy by Jonathan Janson.

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Underpainting with some color glazing. By Poussin and taken in the National Gallery of Art, D.C.

Glazing & Scumbling

This will show you how the masters acquired nice skin tones and smooth gradations by using glazing…a thin layer of paint on top of another. From what we’ve learned about the fat over lean rule, the glazing is applied after the underpainting is dried. This way the colors don’t physically mix and create a muddy color. They mix optically to create smooth gradations which allow you to have more control over your painting.

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