Jan van Eyck as a lemur

Update: Lemur van Eyck

animal painting underpainting in grisaille underpainting in high chroma color Apr 28, 2022

UPDATE 2: Repainted complete turban in a second session.

I keep calling him different names, as if I'm trying to understand what the hell I've done with this painting. Still working on it. 

The underpainting was done in 5YR at the 4th chroma. If those terms are unfamiliar to you check this page. It goes into some detail. I wasn't certain how it would turn out, since I've never done a monochrome underpainting at 4th chroma. Most everyone I know does them in a neutral grisaille or an umber grisaille, or else they do an ebauche. 

All underpainting methods I know of are imperfect. The question with a monochrome underpainting approach is when to transition to full color and then bringing the chroma up to correct representation. The issues with an ebauche: it's a lot more mixing, LOTS, and it can be difficult to produce a unified color atmosphere.

Working up the underpainting in 5YR at the 4th chroma solved all of those problems for me. Thoughts on why:
• 5YR is the most common hue in the natural world;
• Building the underpainting at the 4th chroma makes is much easier to raise the chroma in the finish stage;
• Moving to final colors is straightforward (see above) but the underpainting's effect is still present and gives the atmosphere unity. 

Plus, it's much faster because I am mixing much less paint, the forms are developed and I know where the values belong. The last point, values, is critical to creating an effective illusion. 

I'm having a blast painting this, especially the sky, the fur, and the turban. Okay, everything I'm doing on this is wicked good fun. And stepping so far out of my comfort zone lead me to a completely new series. The first two are started already. 

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