why is it some artists use raw umber or burnt umber for underpainting is it to give warmth to the dead layer? wht not use other colors? thanks
And some portraitists use trans red oxide and even transparent blues and greens.
For a lot of painters, it helps the paint to flow more smoothly if there's an underpainting. No drag on the brushes. But why they use raw umber or burnt umber is beyond me. The burnt umber is a stainer paint and personally, I use it very sparingly as it's difficult to cover.
If you wish to drown, do not torture yourself with shallow water. (Bulgarian Proverb)
My colors of choice are transparent earth red & viridian.
I do not start all paintings the same the colors can change along with the way I start..
The reason for me is that I need to have something abstract and very general to begin. Then continue to work to the finish...
I think the pigments that are chosen (umbers, etc) are based mainly on their transparent & fast-drying qualities.
This is especially important in any kind of underpainting or grisaille, where the lights are wiped out & the piece is built up using layers, often in transparent glazes.
Nature knows no borders
I think raw umber is a pretty good undercoat because it has some warmth but burnt is too dead for me. Personally, I like yellow ochre or burnt sienna and sometimes I use red oxide too. Also, I am an oil painter but I often undercoat with acrylic as it dries very fast and it's OK with oil over it IF you don't use impasto..
I almost always use Burnt Sienna (acrylic) for my underpaintings, I find it gives me a nice range of tones and I then use it as a map showing where the lightest and darkest areas will be. As I paint wildlife the Burnt Sienna seems to be a natural colour to use and it also looks fine when it shows through in places.
wildlife art gallery wildlife art blog
I believe the important thing to remember is that there are no rules in art except those of not mixing non-compatible substances. Don't want any undesirable chemical reactions.
Perhaps you could try a few small, simple pieces with a few different under colors and determine what you like best for your larger piece. What I would do is to section off a canvas into 4 to 8 portions, do a large simple drawing over the sections, paint each one in a different underpainting color, then finish the painting as you normally would. Then, you could decide which section to go with and do your piece. The main thing to remember is that the underpainting will make a difference. The worst thing that can happen is, you get to do it again! Good luck with that.
Burnt and raw umber are quite commonly employed in under-
paintings as they're the two fastest drying colors, period.
of course, they other advantages, being earth colors, inexpen-
sive, n' whatnot, but if there was a mystery, that's the answer.
1. Fast Drying
2. Yes you are right it warms the dead layer specially the Burnt Umber
3. Goes well with the rule Fat on Lean. Umbers are Lean.
4. Umber don't fade with time.
the underpainting layer is used to have a quick dominant value to work with, its color normally is irrelevant ,but if it is a neutral color you can better observe and compare the tone.
there is a very effective way to use the underpainting and save time and improve the results in realistic painting: use the same hue and dominant tone for the underpainting compared to the area you want to have more detail. For example if you paint a portrait, use for the whole rectangle an underpainting layer that is coincident with the dominant tone of the face and its hue is also similar to the face.
I have made a webpage about the use of color and tone, visit http://www.art-and-supplies.com/color-in-art.html
In addition to what pericusmaximus wrote about it being a neutral color that makes tone apparent, and all of the other good comments here, I like to use a burnt umber under painting because it doesn't interfere with my perception of hues. I've used other colors with various results. Purple, for example, will make yellows and warm colors vibrate and blues fade out as the color goes on. Except for in special circumstances, I don't want the under painting to interfere with my perception of other colors as they go on, because the end painting will then have a different color relation - once all the purple is gone in this example - that I didn't intend. Black and white is OK, but it is very muting and deadening to colors, so for the same reason that purple didn't work for me, not a fan of black and white either. Neutral browns seems to interfere with colors less than a lot of other hues, and makes it good for tonal work, without influencing hue, as the work comes together.
Tad Coffin - Artist, Photographer and Author
You should want your underpainting to dry rapidly because
you will paint over it. Therefore you should use Intermediates that will help
your paint dry quicker. Other medium in your underpainting the better, but if
you add medium to your paint make sure it is quick drying. Burnt Umber, Raw
Umber, are very fast drying paints, and will works properly for underpainting.
bring more attraction on empty wall
I concur with Pericus’ that un-
tones ought align with the
atop (as all paint’s to some
other hand, though, while his ex-
of utilizing the same hues in
overpainting’s a possibility, quite
artists actually use opposite
colors, to, through transparency,
increased luminosity of the
reason of the greater luminos-
provide, prior to impression-
possible, glazing was the
popular form of applying color.