“It is in the museum that one learns to paint.” Renoir
“…the majority of the world’s greatest museums (the Prado in Madrid, the Louve in Paris, and the National gallery in London, for example) were founded for the express purpose of providing artist with the means to learn from the great masters. Today art educators tend to smile at this approach, and yet the study of the old masters is still the easiest and most profitable way to train a painters eye and hand.” Lester Cooke (1916-1973) - Former Curator, National Gallery of Art
Underpainting for Allegory of Wealth
Arrowood after Vouet
Oil on Canvas 44" x 32"
Underpainting: An accurate value rendition of a subject. Often the old masters created underpaintings in brown, gray-green, or gray. A well-rendered underpainting separates the problems of form from those of color. The application of transparent color glazes will not conceal the faults of a poorly executed underpainting…The application of opaque color is facilitated by a good underpainting.
My underpainting was prepared as a grisaille (gray values); however, while working before the original at the Louvre, it appeared as though Vouet may have used a reddish brown like burnt sienna under much of the original. French painters often used a grisaille while many of the Italian painters preferred verdaccio (greenish) underpaintings.