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Underpainting to Map Out Values with Acrylic Paint Trudi Green Smith

In this process board, I demonstrate the underpainting technique of using one neutral color of paint to plan your painting instead of drawing your composition with a pencil or other medium. I set up my still life and placed my blank canvas board on my easel and then thinned out burnt umber acrylic paint with water on my palette. I started by sketching the basic shapes of the fruit in burnt umber, and then mapped out the basic values (darks and lights) that I observed. I used thicker paint for the darkest areas and left the lightest areas blank. I added more water to the paint for the mid tones.

After I was satisfied with the basic composition and value study in my underpainting, I blocked in the colors that I observed on the fruit and in the background. I mixed my acrylic paint on my palette and continued to adjust my colors and values until I was satisfied with my image.

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Trudi Smith
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Trudi Green Smith

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