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Pastel Technique: Acrylic Underpainting

I thought I would spice up my underpainting techniques to do paint this landscape of a field at Matthaei Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor.

As there is an orange glow to the field, I chose to do an orange acrylic underpainting. Once complete, I blocked in the darkest values. Jill Wagner, a most accomplished award-winning artist from Saline, Michigan, recently posted a pastel lesson on Uart with an orange acrylic underpainting (inspiring my approach). See Jill's tip here.

My next step consisted of applying pastel lightly to the surface to get the values correct. I purposefully left some of the acrylic underpainting showing to help bring out that "glow."

I then continued to add pastel, focusing more on value than on color at this stage. I sprayed a light touch of fixative on the painting, which will freeze this version and allow me to more easily add layers of pastel (notice how the painting darkened slightly):

After checking the values and making adjustments, I began to add detail. Here's the current version. I will observe and take notes, and return to this painting tomorrow.

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