Thursday, July 29, 2010

Michigan dune - sketch and underpainting

Mike Rooney, the master I am currently following, sketches in magenta. I've already tried to rebel against this, but it's by far the best sketch color to use on the canvas... warmth flows through all the colors you put on the final surfaces. Guru Mike was right - magenta is the way.

The next step is the first phase: the underpainting. Everything dark is deep purple. Everything in the lightest tones is yellow. Second darkest is blue. Second lightest is orange. Third darkest is green. In this instance, I've gone to grays for the third lightest... the white Michigan sand has a definite gray undertone, and I'm thinking this will help bring that out.
It's a bit hard to see right now, though you can make out the upper sky and the lake. The magenta and yellow will become a light mauve and hint-of-orange late summer sky. Orange and gray in the lower half are sand - we're looking at a dune cut from up on a slight escarpment... you'll see the beach in the distance below... along the right, a little burst of jack pine and scrub, and in the foreground, dune grass.

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