Posted by Maggie
Yesterday was the first day of a six-week Saturday class that I'm teaching at the New Mexico Art League in Albuquerque. In my classes and workshops, I focus on one technique or subject each day. I like to start the session with my favorite (and easiest) underpainting technique, which is to block in the subject loosely and then wash it with Turpenoid. Depending on the subject, I may exaggerate or change the colors, and I often use slightly darker values for the middle- and darkest-value areas, knowing I can lighten them on the next pass of color.
Now that I am back home, the painting is sitting in my studio where I can glance at it now and then, and watch for flaws or problems that catch my eye. I'll leave it there for a week or two before I decide that it's truly finished. I've already spotted a couple of adjustments I need to make to the water in the foreground, so I'm definitely not pronouncing it done yet!
Class demos don't always turn into paintings worth finishing or keeping—after all, the purpose of a demo is to demonstrate techniques and give information to my students, not necessarily to complete a painting. I'm very pleased with this one as a demo, though, and I think with a little careful attention, it will be worth being framed.
If you're interested in learning more about underpainting techniques, check out my two new DVDs, each of which deals with a different approach to underpainting.