As a newbie to pastels, I am learning from books and from doing. (I had my first lesson in a studio when I was about 6, but have used media other than pastel, such as watercolor.). Going through Marla Baggetta's "Pastel Step by Step", A Walter Foster Artist's Library Series book, the very first example, the very first step, is "toning a piece of sanded pastel paper with a diluted wash of acrylic paint," yellow ochre in particular. I have never used acrylic but how hard can it be?
Here's my question: what are the advantages and disadvantages of underpainting with acrylic, watercolor, pastel, using colored paper, or skipping underpainting completely?
I paint on watercolor paper, several layers of gesso with marble dust in the top layer so gesso for tooth. I've switched to oil pastels but I use the same surface for both dusties and oilies. I also use canvas panels, hardboard panels, birch plywood all gessoed and some texture added such as marble dust.
With hardboard panels (masonite) , I often just sand the slickness off the masonite and paint on a clear gesso. Clear gesso has a lot of tooth for either soft pastels or oil pastels.
Toning a surface with acrylic is too slick for my taste. If toning with acrylic or underpainting with acrylic, I'll use marble dust in the acrylic mixture or more often will put on a top layer of clear gesso.
Oil pastel on linen canvas coated with clear gesso.
Oil pastel on masonite covered with clear gesso.
oil pastel on background of acrylic infused with marble dust.
Soft pastel on gessoed with marble dust on 140 pound watercolor paper.
Hal : The Sunset Beckons:
I like to use watercolor or pastel with an alcohol or water wash. I often use different under painting color in a landscape for example : sky are pink,tree area deep purple, water coral . I like to leave little areas peeking through the pastel.
i also use colorfix toned paper for certain paintings .Remembering that pastel hues look different on top of under painted colors . I often experiment with that before I do a painting. Look up Richard McKinley he has a lot of info on under painting.
Enjoy your adventure
Here's my question: what are the advantages and disadvantages of underpainting with acrylic, watercolor, pastel, using colored paper, or skipping underpainting completely? Dan
Karen Margulis has an excellent series of posts on underpainting, with discussion of various techniques, purposes, and materials that will go far in answering your questions : http://kemstudios.blogspot.com/search/label/underpaintings