The Underpainting Technique – Speed-painting

I’m demonstrating how I complete an underpainting using oil paint on a white canvas. The paint I’m using is monochromatic, it’s burnt umber with some ultramarine mixed in to make it darker.

I scrub the entire canvas first, with the paint thinned out with a little linseed oil.
Then I’m removing paint with brushes, paper towels, and paint thinner where necessary. That leaves the highlights. I’m also adding paint where it needs to be darker.

Once the underpainting is dry, I can go over it with color. This breaks down the painting process into two steps:
1. First get all the light/dark correct and don’t worry about colors
2. Then worry about colors later! (Step 2 not pictured here!)


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