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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.



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.

References in periodicals archive ?
A purpose-built camera with an infrared light source can "see through" the surface layer of paint to record underdrawings and underpaintings that the artist may have initially rendered.
In "Nunc Dimittis" an art advisor conceives the idea of commissioning a painting of a lady friend and then scraping her clothing off to reveal the underpainting of her naked form.
An underpainting is done to block in the background.
I do a lot of drawings and begin with a monochromatic underpainting that gives me an idea about the light source and major forms in the painting.
To create the vibrant colors in his paintings, Nootenboom primes his paintings with a technique called underpainting.
The story is often told of how he spent five days just on the underpainting of a hand.
In some sites in downtown Santiago, repositories of hundreds of coats of paint, posters, and even murals from another time, Nunez's silkscreens, when peeled off, or through natural decay, reveal pentimentos, or underpainting.
Transparent watercolor of subject on abstract underpainting, resulting in designed realism.
Its 16 filters include Accented Edges, Angled Strokes, Colored Pencil, Diffuse Glow, Glowing Edges, Grain, Note Paper, Palette Knife, Patchwork, Photocopy, Rough Pastels, Sprayed Strokes, Stamp, Texturizer, Bas Relief, and Underpainting.
Dault rakes through a top layer of paint to reveal others submerged, allowing an underpainting to dry before applying the typically monochromatic scrim that serves as the site of action where her instruments meet the surface.
This reviewer appreciated the page of underpainting exercises, which could be used in teaching.
The most serious loss is to the right part of the face (our left) and to the shirt, which is reduced to its underpainting.