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  • Gav Munro

The Best Portrait Cheat

Of all the things involved in painting a portrait 'underpainting' is probably the most important. Underpainting is the preparation process where you chose one colour, in different shades to 'fill' the canvas and give it basic depth. It makes a HUGE difference to the outcome of a painting.

This should be the next stage after sketching.

Here's what an underpainted canvas looks like..

Here's video of me underpainting my current portrait

There are 3 reasons why underpainting is important

1) It helps you to 'FILL' the canvas full of paint before starting to add colour. A canvas with a base of paint on is much easier to paint on than a raw one

2) It allows you to PRACTICE at scale where the highlights/lowlights and details go

3) It gives you the FIRST IMPRESSION of what the finished painting will look like. Studying the basic composition will show you where to concentrate as you carry on.

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