Definition of underpainting in English:



  • Paint subsequently overlaid with another layer or with a finishing coat.

    • ‘Another feature adding to the dynamism of the sketch is the underpainting, which is applied in vigorous parallel strokes and allowed to show through.’
    • ‘While some of her recent paintings are of an all-over, full-tilt intensity, in many cases a counter force, say, a thinned yellow washed over an area of dark underpainting, undercuts the sweetness with a dash of vinegar.’
    • ‘Beneath layers of paint is a scrawled ‘G’ (for girl) along with patches of blue, red and yellow underpainting.’
    • ‘In other cases, a dense overlay of solid-color enamel obscures the underpainting.’
    • ‘There are also residual notes of viridian underpainting and thin trails of linear color, the remainders of painting decisions that ultimately were not executed but add to the map of the surface.’
    • ‘Indeed, technical analysis has revealed pinholes and incised lines in the underpainting that are evidence of a process involving transfer drawings.’
    • ‘Dramatically cropped by the edges of the canvas, the three dominating shapes obscure almost all traces of the beige, blue and brown gestural underpainting.’
    • ‘Charcoal traces resembling cartoons for a fresco mix with faint clouds of color to form a canny underpainting that embraces both components of the color/line polarity.’
    • ‘However, careful observation will show that much of the color has been applied on top of underpainting that was black, or at least very dark.’
    • ‘He draws the projected image, turns the lights back on and slowly brings the painting up from a monochrome to a colored underpainting.’
    • ‘Scoured down to reveal innumerable layers of underpainting and at some points the raw linen itself, the work is a rugged terrain of peaks and craters, the walls of which reveal strata of paintings long past.’
    • ‘The works float in discreet white frames to expose torn edges, staple marks and copious layers of underpainting visible around the rim.’
    • ‘The paint is buttery and opaque, crisp and decisive, and there appears to be very little underpainting.’
    • ‘Sadly, the good vibes wore off very quickly as we became depressed by the gauzy colours, dark underpainting and lackluster watercolours.’
    • ‘The white is a milky skin, thin and rubbed-looking; the gray underpainting may emerge subtly, like the blue of veins.’
    • ‘This painting has both a landscape and figural feel, as a faint green underpainting pokes tenuously (like grass) through a peach-colored second ground that has the tactility of flesh.’
    • ‘You can also let some of that underpainting show through in some areas of your painting for an interesting effect.’
    • ‘The outermost paint layers pull away in certain areas to reveal the underpainting.’