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(graphic arts)
A layer of paint that is intended to be seen through a subsequent paint layer; an underpainted section of red, for example, can be altered to a violet or purple color with the application of a thin blue glaze.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



in painting, principally oil painting, preliminary layers of paint in which the tonal values of the design are worked out. The shadows are worked in dark tones, and the main masses of light in light tones. Underpainting, which is executed in two or more colors, is intended to show through the thin layers of paint that are subsequently applied during the finishing stage. The use of underpainting and scumbling was popular until the mid-19th century, when alla prima painting became popular. During the Renaissance, underpainting was often used in tempera painting.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Untitled (Underpainting), 2018, Kerry James Marshall, acrylic and collage on PVC panel in artist's frame, 215.2 x 305.5cm
They then turn their square fruit drawings over and begin to draw with their brushes, creating an underpainting as they paint the shapes they see and then mix the colors they see to mimic the fruit in front of them.
Palma il Giovane had talked of Titian's vigorous underpainting, the reds, blacks, and yellows, and of his predilection for using a palette knife.
"I allowed the underpainting to show through, and it became part of the design, adding texture and richness."
Similarly, in the distance, to the left of the canoe slipping down the face of the rapids, appears the underpainting of a bateau that matches the image in his field sketch.
Beginning with the color itself, a premeditated action because he has hitherto worked with deep contrasts using a varied color palette, he decided to explore the possibilities of red, which he had hitherto used as the underpainting before applying gold leaf.
There is a place in art for that but I respond to the world around me and I want to create something pleasing to look at." He focuses on figurative works - landscapes, urban views, flowers and portraiture, mainly in oil and pastel, although some of his paintings use an unusual self-developed technique of acrylic underpainting with pastel worked over the top.
The Impressionists had to eliminate underpainting so that the white of the canvas could help color to aspire to the brightness of the sky.
If the lighting is really extreme, if the colors are going to be bright and difficult, sometimes I'll do an underpainting or study to help me figure out the lighting.
The works of Paul Gauguin became a primary influence: she found his paintings so beautiful, "they could make me cry, and it was a struggle not to be overwhelmed by them." From Matisse she learned how to draw and use underpainting to enrich color, and from Max Beckmann, in one of the largest collections of his work, she discovered how to find a visual vocabulary that could be an artist's own.
She also advances the hypothesis that Giotto taught life drawing to his team, pointing out traces of anatomical underpainting where draperies have flaked off--a practice previously believed to have begun in the mid-fifteenth century.
I work in oil on masonite, starting with a monochromatic underpainting on panel, followed by numerous layers of thin glazes, similar to those used by fifteenth century Sienese painters, creating a highly detailed surface.