Occoquan Glow

First off, let me say how much I love plein air painting. Just look at all the friends who drop by! See right --->

Second, let's talk underpainting preferences. Although paper towel and pastel underpaintings work well, I am finding that I prefer using watercolor if I can achieve enough color saturation. I also like how it runs and easily splatters while not filling the tooth.

I use either my large John Pike palette with Holbein paints or my Pelikan set of 24 opaque colors, which is convenient and very easy to carry. They merge with Pastelboard for a vibrancy I do not see elsewhere.

Here is a watercolor underpainting from my Workhouse Plein Air pastel class with Carol Iglesias, who is in Studio #407.

It's a gooey, beautiful mess, but just look at the depth of color that can be achieved!

Almost immediately, Carol told me I was at 90% with it, so I put reins on myself. Because I tend to work quickly and heavy-handedly (which, of course, have their place, too), I decided to stick with harder pastels like Van Gogh and Girault. They gave me the discipline to leave a lot of the watercolor still showing, making the piece quite multidimensional.

Occoquan Glow
Soft Pastel with Watercolor Underpainting on Pastelboard


ariel freeman said...

Cool stuff Bonnie. You know I looove watercolor. I am inspired to try it as an underpainting for pastel.

Bonnie said...

Great idea to combine your two primary media. Look back to the McKinley section for more watercolor.

One piece of advice he gives is to treat it as a spontaneous underpainting, not as a specific, defined watercolor. Encourage drips. Use your spray bottle. Make it quick.

Can't wait to see your results!