Still Life Tonal Underpainting

Still Life Underpainting

Still life tonal underpainting of pear. Terra Rosa, thinned with 50/50 Gamsol and linseed oil, was used for the lights. A mixture of Terra Rosa and French Ultramarine Blue was used to establish the form shadows. A mixture of Burnt Sienna and French Ultramarine was used for the cast shadow.

I started out blocking in the simple lights and dark forms, including the cast shadow. I then proceed to incorporate the reflected lights on the form. What is not seen to the right of the pear,  is a gold  plate that reflects the primary source light coming from the upper left back in to the pear. Their also light  bouncing off the table into the bottom left of the pear.

The blocking-in went rather quickly, since I had already demarcated the lights and darks in the underdrawing phase. I chose to use Terra Rosa as my hue for the underpainting because the pear overall color is reddish-brown.  The background was a mixture of French Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna with a touch of White. The next phase is to do the overpainting, the completed painting. However,  as to what style to paint the pear in, impressionistic or realism, I am not too sure. I guess we will see, won’t we.  😉



I will speak of beauty of shapes, and I don’t mean just shapes of living figures or their imitations in painting, but straight lines and curves and the shapes made from them.

-Plato quoting Socrates

Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna chart


Mixing complementary colors: ultramarine blue and burnt sienna.

I hate doing color charts. It is difficult for me to stand their mixing paint, without actually creating anything. However, I do see the benefit of doing them, and I  need more practice mixing colors, especially understanding how  to create neutrals  from mixing compliments.

I was inspired after reading Betina Fink’s blog on the subject matter.