Blocking an Underpainting

My European Landscape show at Two Rivers Country Club is now over and I’m getting ready to start painting again. A while back I blocked in the initial underpainting for a painting of intersecting canals in Venice. Below is my first posting of this painting.

Untitled Underpainting ©William R. BeebeMany artists will start with a monochromatic undercoating in order to get the desired shading and tones. I prefer to lay in colors from the start to get a feeling of what the composition will look like in color and build from there. This coat has had time to dry and I’ve looked at it on a daily basis trying to envision it in various styles.Do I want to go more Impressionistic or do I want to lean more toward a realistic piece? I also imagine using creative colors or using various techniques like the use of a palette knife. Do I want a smooth and glossy finish or a textured surface?

Sometimes, as in my Venice by Gondola painting, the image of the finished painting instantly comes to me. It’s exciting when that happens because the work flows and it’s enjoyable. We’ll see where this painting takes me. I’m looking forward to it as I love the many colors offered in this scene and the dramatic lighting that is created by the sunlight filtering through the canals and over the beautiful architecture.

Our good friend Mindy Knuppel found this particular location in Venice and captured it on film. Thanks to Mindy for her many beautiful photos of Italy that she was so generous with.

Thank you for checking in on my blog and being interested in my work. I’ll keep you posted!