StudioSense: Bold Acrylic Underpainting

"Recovering from Winter" is a 9x12 pastel inspired by a vista at MarshView Meadow Park near Ann Arbor, MI.


Given the deep blues of the foreground water, I decided to lay down a coat of orange acrylic paint. I like to apply an impasto technique to help bring forth texture in the painting and the 3D affect of the grasses.

I purposely let some of the orange underpainting show through the cool blue water, helping to create the contrast of colors.


The foreground is sharper and more defined, compared against the more atmospheric distance. Lighting is key, as the bright horizon in the upper center tracks along the water to the left, helping to draw the viewer's focus from the distance down through the "mess" of dead grasses leftover from the damage done in the Winter.


This 9x12 pastel was created on Uart sanded paper and a variety of hard and soft pastels, plus acrylic paint.


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