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Experimenting with Underpaintings

What kind of effect does the first layer of paint on a canvas have on the final piece? I am a storyteller at heart and decided it would be fun to make seven small paintings and try a different underpainting for each one. The Seven Magpies childhood poem seemed like a good subject for this.


One for Sorrow underpainting

I liked this underpainting so much, with the girl and the bird subtracted, that I didn;t want to paint over it. Thank God for cameras! There are many colors overlaid with raw umber. The colors show through and the girl came out with a perfect sorrowful pose. The magpei wings were fun to scratch into the paint. The feathers looked so delicate.



This is the final painting. I love the mood. I do think the earthy underpainting contributed to the somber air of solace and wonder. It was easy to work with as well.

One for Sorrow

oil painting on 8 x 10 wrapped canvas


Two for Joy

Began with a pink underpainting. I thought this color would help create a warm happy painting. I wanted the girl to wear a gown like the goregeous one in the movie Crimson Peak. These paintings have Victorian/ Edwardian flair that suits the Seven Magpies poem.


Two for Joy

Oil painting on 8 x 10 wrapped canvas

This turned out to be much more difficult. The going was very slow and I kept changing things. But I did get the gown right!

The pink color threw me a bit because at this point in my oil painting career, I am too literal. I haven't always been like that, but it was in learning to properly oil paint, I found out I could make realistic images and it took me by a storm. I didn't know I could do it! I'm not sure I'll stick with it, but I really enjoy it for now.







I have five more to go. Smaller doesn't necessarily mean faster with me and oil paint. I will post the next two here when they're done.

These original oil paintings are $99 each. If you would be interested in all seven as a set,. please contact me.

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