The Underpainting

This weekend I’m driving up to Sedona to take a collage class. It’s a type of chine collé in which you create an underpainting, then, following the shades of the colors, collage over the underpainting.

Our homework was to create two underpaintings–one of an apple (so the class will all be working on the same idea) and another underpainting of a different topic.

The chicken in an underpainting.

The chicken in an underpainting.

I wanted to do a koi underwater, but the sketch showed me it would require too much detail work and be too difficult. So I did a chicken, instead. I don’t paint with acrylics, and I have no idea how to do a real underpainting. I work with watercolor pencils, watercolor and inks. But I leaped in and tried it anyway. I hesitated only a bit, and then I thought, “This is a class I am taking to step way out of my comfort zone, so I might as well feel weird about it.


Minimalist koi

I then went back and created a totally minimalist koi drawing. I think the background will be hugely interesting, and I can’t wait to work on it.

While I was working on the underpainting, I thought of what a good idea it was. You put down the shapes and colors you want, and it makes the detail work easier–less filled with instant decisions.

It’s not that different from an outline for writers. A guide that helps you see the big picture. And of course, it’s the same thing as envisioning the future, or a success in life. Once you’ve seen where you are going, it’s easier to take the steps to get there.

So, tomorrow, off to Sedona for a get-away class! And yes, I’m taking the computer because I have work to do at night. No rest for the wicked!

Quinn McDonald seems to have something about chickens. The one above made her laugh.