Oil Painting - Learn The Art Of Underpainting | Walt Reunamo | Skillshare

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Oil Painting - Learn The Art Of Underpainting

teacher avatar Walt Reunamo, Art Instructor

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.



    • 3.



    • 4.

      Underpainting part 1


    • 5.

      Underpainting part 2


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About This Class

Join Waltteri Reunamo for an inspiring 45-minute-class on learning how to do a foundational underpainting for your paintings. Doing a great underpainting is one of the best ways to learn how to paint values for any type of paintings and ensures the success for applying color on top of it in later stages. It has been used through history all around the world by all types of painters with different skill levels, from beginners to professionals. 

Includes demos for underdrawing and underpainting with commentaries!

See how an underpainting is executed and get insightful tips!

Continue your learning with my additional courses:

Meet Your Teacher

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Walt Reunamo

Art Instructor


Hey everyone!

My name is Walt Reunamo and I'm a artist and art teacher living and working in Finland. I have been doing art for the past decade and taught online over 2000+ students in more than 100 countries. I have also worked as an artist in the videogames industry for 10+ years in award-winning titles.

Outside of art-related fun, I enjoy spending time with my crazy Bengal cat, experiencing the short but sweet summers of Finland, photographing, watching movies, and hitting the gym. I'm also a book junkie.. I do buy more art books than I probably should!


I would love it if you could follow me here by clicking the "Follow" button on the left.

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1. Introduction: welcome to this. Underpaid in many cars. In this course, we will be looking at how to do this. Under basing off our first, I will show you how to make the drawing off the flower on. Then how does that apply to bait and make the understanding? I will also give you tips, house. Get the illusion of life on how this all different problems while my arise. So let's get started. 2. Supplies: So what kind of supplies you need for this course? First of all, you need some paint using I will be using this, um, transport on Brookside Rid, which is really, really lovely color paint under painting. It gives this war war brownish red call or, uh, no. You need to brush, um, some different scientists. Maybe it's good. Some smaller, larger ones. When you need a small element sold for diluting the paint, it makes that make it faster. Spread it out, especially in the beginning when you stay in the canvas, are you F usually GAM? So from gambling, he's really good one. It's It doesn't have there awful smell that usually Solomon's have. Then you need Are you tips here? It's good to have Q tips. They really good for doing small D days, uh, to make, like a lighter like areas to erase the paint. Another one is paper told. Then you need a and you need a canvas. Any kind of cannabis will probably like. I'm using a wood paneled, but you can use um, kind of us are oil painting paper or a critic paper. And you it's good to also have just also you cover that panel first, or your canvas for three gentle so it's white 3. Underdrawing: All right. Welcome to the under. Drawing part on Dumb. Let's look at how we can do that. Nice under drawing for the for the painting, and this again sped up video off my bro processes. And I will start by looking in the Like it mass off the whole mass off the off the flower. Um, first, I tried to establish that the size off the floor so it will fit on the panel. The worst thing that you can do with you start drawing some details off the flour and then know this later that some parts don't fit on the on the canvas or panel that you use. So just try the start with establishing the size off the off the flower so it will fit on the kind of us our panel or paper or whatever you use. And, um, so you're gonna be sure that it's on the right sport. First of all, on the canvas, the right place and then of it feeds. And it's the right size. I'm I'm using here just on normal regular, um, graphite pencil on. Uh, you raise her needed raised herself. You can also draw it charcoal. If you want for this type of final? I have, like the wooden paddle that's covered in just so, um, crap. I pencil is probably the best option you can do. Nice, um, smaller are goingto detest. Quite nasty charcoal brooks. Also, no problem, but it's a bit more. You have to be more careful with it. For example, if I would put my hand on the top off the charcoal like I'm doing there, most likely it's much so charcoal. You need to be more careful. So here I am, trying to find the the placement off the different petals off the flower. And I I think I had to sighs or resides, some off them. They were One of them was too large. So you have to use a bit of time toe, find a good choice off them and just move the lines a bit. I usually do with that quite often, so it's never quite rare that I will never or quite right, that I get the sizes off the off, my drawing correct from the first first time I fry. So correcting mistakes is normal thing in happens a lot, so it's like correcting mistakes, mistakes is a very important thing to do. If you don't correct the mistakes you do, you end up in the back drawing and then you end up with the bad fainting. It's important thing to do, right? Yeah. Adding more details. I'm tryingto find dark areas, and usually I'm looking about them. They're like, the more most going trust the areas. Most lines with most going trust are I put them down with the darker told and I only start adding more details are when I have the size off there and the placement off the flower down first. That's really the most important step off the oh Troy, when you're picking. No, I'm doing like more more details stop here starting to mark down there the, um, shadow areas. So I tried to muppet areas where there darkest, Um, did August areas like we thought line so I can see where I need to put the darkest trained later. I will probably do more off that, but I'm still for putting on, see, look wet. I think just drawing took around maybe 30 minutes to do so. Not more than that. I don't too much details on the drawing I just want to established, like the dark areas where the dark or the shadows come under the light areas. So this that's them most important thing withdrawing and the proportions off course, So a lot like very detailed work. I usually leave 40 m color your face. And one good thing about painting on a wooden panel like I'm doing here is that it's quite easy to a race on graphite. The pencil from the panel. If you're drawing on the for example canvas, it's Ah, you can erase some up there, some of the pencil something canvas. But it's much harder, especially when you don't darker or more heavy pencil strokes because it gets into the green off the off the can listen gets harder. You raise so you do a lot of mistakes. They might be difficult to get a rash unless you use some kind of fun, um, turpentine or something to dilute graphite. I'm looking Look, just making small strokes here in there and comparing it to the reference photo so slowly building up, building up the drawing, NCM mapping out the dark hair dark, the shadow areas like a rhyme right here, trying to get just, um, shape off their shadows. - So good growing skill is really essential for painting. You really want to practice throwing? Excuse as much as possible. Like if you want to be a good painter and off course, continue drawing even if we are doing painting. All right. So that drawing is finished. Your these my reference set up also using eye bad for, um movie. That's a reference. No, I'm opening the window. I'm gonna do the a fixative. So remember that. Have a good ventilation when you do this. If you're doing it at home inside, just open windows. Um, give you the code. Check in on. Wouldn't, um, don't put too much just a bit. If you you like that, it usually is enough. You can try to fix it. They will try quite quickly so you can try with your finger if it was much at the pencil. And if not, it's it's good to go 4. Underpainting part 1: okay, and welcome. Um, first of all, I screwed up. I lost the first clip. So in the very beginning, I was covered That whole panel with oil paint on very much diluted with it, Cam. So ask yourself there, and I just got rid of all of the white off the can was That's the first step. And here I am. No. With the papers, our scrubbing off the paint to get back the lightest areas that's against in the reference picture, no one I know. I think that you deep on dumb do the same thing we take. You tip You can do smaller details and make smaller areas. Um, lie there. It's a really nice tool toe, um, for smaller detail, of course. Right now I'm using also my finger. That's really good way to get rid of the paint. Q tips also got there the pain quite nicely. So, um, you can really scrub if you really hardly are really hard scrub. We thank you that it takes quite a lot of pent off, so it's a good tool for that. Or are you gonna scrub? Very, Very likely. As you see there, Uh and then you can almost, like, blend depend on makes off their trans ISMs. And now I'm taking the brush on doing the same thing, just like lending and making the transition from them from the paint light like smoother trying to just, uh, just make that lightest arias stand out. In this beginning stage, it's you. You have a fairly good amount of time to work because the, um the mineral spirit I won't fade away that quickly. But you can't let it be for hours because if you do that in the mineral, mineral spirits will fade away and it will stick to that. That the cannabis or on that on the board. So when this, um, oil plantation in this liquid state you want toe work fairly fast No, not to hurry. But, um, you have to do it in one sitting, so to speak. So if you want to do it the easy way also off course with all bent, you can always leave it and let it dry. But, um, then you would have toe maybe in some cases put white paint on the bottom right area because you couldn't scrap that paint off anymore. All right, So here I'm starting to put the first, like, darkest area stone I started with them outside parts off the off the flower. So against around there, um, flower with dark And that way I can I can, like, see that very darkest areas against the very lightest areas and judge other values from there. And it's also could good to see the still went off off the flower and that paint that I'm using here waas the transparent oxide red, which is our color that I you really like. It's this Peronists red color are very good for under painting. See, because when you put the color roundup top of this under painting that it gives this warmth the painting onto the colors very, very good color under bending color. Also for portray its and figure paintings because it gives the from the skin. If you're bending people I'm having, I'm using up like a medium sized brush here for these two small so it doesn't take too much time to, um, go and put the paint down. If you used to a small processes, it might take too long overall the area. But, um, we took to a large brush off course. There's a possibility toe make like accidents. So just pick their bright size, um, brush for de friend thumb or different. Um, march off the painting and it'll always helps toe also go and clean the process, even like in the middle off off the pending process. It takes only a few minutes, and it really helps if you keep the precious clean all the time. So, as you can see here, I'm going all over the lower turned the like a surrounded with the dark paint that's targets on that as I can get with that with that color. No, I'm switching the larger brush, just going doing the surroundings. This monochrome under paintings are really, really good. If you're just starting out oil painting, I would really such as you do this come regularly. They really helpful, though, um, learning how to do how to do that. Values correct and values, values and the drawing are the toe most important things in oil painting. You really want to have toes correct before you go into the color. If you go into the color too early, Um, you might like quite a lot of trouble with color and get discouraged because you got off the troubles on, um, it really helps to start with that really basic stuff. And also when I did my 1st 1st painting, some I know this, like doing really beautiful monochrome paintings. It's really rewarding feeling you can do really amazing things with just one color drink. Women, for example. Finding the fighting monochrome paintings off Richard Schmidt. His done some amazing portrait's and pick your paintings monochrome portrait. Since your paintings and he uses, I think this exact same you or the sex excess. Same color, their Trans Brent oxide red. All right, I think I'm slowly starting to put down. You're in there bit more values, but mostly I'm just still tryingto go go around the flower and establish the still under darkest parts. So this is a photograph that I took myself. It was from my big brothers yard. Like the photo, it has nice, nice separation off light and dark on a nice color. So, um, it's a very good photograph or a painting for this type of anything, especially so much easier to bend control from photographs that are that have a good lighting that separates the light and the dark areas nicely reach shadows. So here I'm no, I'm moving in the inner area, softer off the flower, and you can see that I'm still concentrating mostly off the dark areas. So I'm trying to find when the darkest areas on putting toes in first. Now I have. Right now I've I have very little paint in my paintbrush, just sometimes taking a big pain from the from them final from the outside of the flower. And that's that's probably enough paint. And then I'm scrubbing it on the one that dark areas. It's usually safer toe like no, too much paint on the canvas. You don't end up with too much paint. It's can be really difficult to get out. If you put too much, you're gonna always put more 5. Underpainting part 2: not all tryingto a bit soft in there. It's just on from the lighter, like their areas off that the flower leaves on the background. So it kind of makes us to get there at some in the darker areas. I think this painting to about, um, two hours to make. So this is sped up about two times faster. No or more that it doesn't really matter how how long it takes. I don't really I don't really like look into how, how long? My paintings. They can just try to make them, um, or try to have fun, fun with them and know not to hurry. Usually never is a good thing toe hurry. But when painting So just take a descend on they guess much diamond you need I want really helpful thing to do when when painting you still just get up and look at depending from from a distance so you can see that see the holding from afar. It really helps when you it really helps on charging the values when you can see it from from distance. If you get really close and paint from really close too long, you can kind of like not see the big picture, so to speak. Now that unusual pain that I put right first in the beginning, on the background. It's starting it like sticky. I can put like more paint on top of it and get getting darker. And I I think I put there. It's more on the understand and also here on the one to leave. You can get more darker, um, darker about use, But I can't do that right from the beginning, because maybe so running. It's really hard to make the target values right from the start. Unless I use, like, really come on the fans, that might, um, a problematic toe to move around if you have too much pain. Tried from ticket goes on. I try to build up it, build it like slowly me to rush. Rush with it. You can see here that now it really pays off that I made my made like a good growing that I really rely on. Imagine doing this without throwing, like without this really drawing. It would be really hard. Judge the distances and on all the curves off the off the flower, different parts of the flower so it really helps toe. They pay extra attention when doing trolling and getting up, Getting a solid trying on. Um, first, I never really started. Started painting if I don't have a very slowly drawing before that. So, you know, if the drawing doesn't look good, don't start painting. It's the drawing. First, I'm gonna growing along along with the blower. They're giving the dark area, Don't. It doesn't be drinking area because, um, anything in the reference photo, the the background on the and the flower seem almost the same. Same value. So it's a d people to every other to paint. Now I'm putting, given darker, more darker tones. On top of that, groaned like every time I had more paint get darker and darker, but that I have to pay after way the underlying paint to pry so I cannot more. So this was all painted in one one session on one day. So yeah, it took around maybe two. So our 2.5 hours to paint so and I think I didn't use any any turpentine or linseed oil while painting this after I put them first turpentine in the right. In the beginning yes yourself from when I cover the whole panel. After that, I didn't eat use any turbine time when I had, where I'm putting paint because that the panel is already, like, what? Moist from that from them Turpentine show. So that pain Thrones nicely on the final. That's a lot of areas that I haven't really painted yet on the on the flower itself. But I'm trying to get the really started August areas perfect first, before I start bending the flower. Because if that darkest areas but the values are not correct, then I might miss judgment on the values on the flower because I'm basically comparing the values of the flower to the background. So if my background isn't a stark as it should be, it's really hard toe the values of the flower correct, sometimes just nice to leave the background like a, uh, do not cover. The whole all kind of us with the paint have this kind of dean yet, but with spending, I wantedto cover the full the full panel. So at some point, I'm gonna cover it completely. I think I changed those muller brush here, and I'm doing some off details drawing some off the, um, it just here, so not lose them. That's quite a bit of smaller day does on the lower area after off painting what also making but the silhouettes and on the edges off the off the dark areas more detailed, with a smaller brush still focusing on mostly on the darkest areas. I tried to do these kind of paintings every week, so it's a really group could practice. So all right, I tried to make them like a weekly habito, but I think this every now and then. It's a nice practice, and usually it doesn't take too much time. I tend to keep them under three hours. So about two or three hours yesterday, Secretary and I don't usually make them two. Largely, there's hope things kind of panel sizes or kind of a size is good. Good for those. But of course, this this could be, um, things would work on any any sides off painting. So if I'm doing a larger pending more than one meter a size, I would steal the do that under under painting. Um, because it's it's really important part off them part of the process se must ask the drawing for me The process, depending protest goes that my first do the or stood under drawing our very first I I started with the with the sketch and I I get my ideas on the on this sketchbook in on. Then do our, um I built the canvas and then draw the sketch from the sketchbook again on the canvas. Fix it on canvas something I'm I'm going. I will do the under painting on the canvas. And after that comes the colors. So here I'm putting down, uh, surrounding surroundings just very quickly adding paint, I don't really at this point, Look at them referenced picture. I just put down the paint I got always scrub it off if I put toe too dark or too light orto dark in the background. So and I dont really try to copy toe the reference photo so that, like, perfectly mostly what you'd rather get that, um, in the drawing past the scale and the proportions on the those kind of d There's correct from the from them reference photo and in the pending pending face tex values. But, um, I don't really try to make it as like perfect this or I don't really for some it being protected. Just try to make it my own. I think it looks much nicer. Wortham and with the being yet so having the whole panel covered with I'm doing some off the minor details on there on the lighter areas, I think some of the shapes some of the lines on the floor that bring out out those like the shapes off the off, the off the floor on their other final touches. So, of course, this is because this is the under painting. It doesn't really need to be that perfect anyways, because you can always put more details in on the on them when you put down there the colors. So for me, at least under pending is just it gives you them groundwork toe put the bait or the colors so it's easier to. You don't have to worry so much about them having to charge their values right when you and you're putting down the colors. If you have a good under painting, but it doesn't have to have all the all the small STD is under baiting that you can do later just in the color color face or go to our stage. So here it is. It's the finished under painting floor under painting, and I think I I need a really good job with that. I am satisfied. I hope you do this exercise just up to and I hope you like the video. Thank you.