Tutorial: red underpainting

Underpainting with red color has many advantages in painting, and especially in oil painting. I always start by painting the canvas in red. Having a red background, especially when you paint with oil, makes it easier and more convenient. The main reason is that you gain a lot of time when painting like that. And when you gain in time in painting, you gain in efficiency. The technical advantage is also an aesthetic advantage.

Through time I chose the colour red for several reasons:

– The first reason is that, as you can see behind me, it allows immediately to bring the painting to life. The medium tint of red allows to work on light colours and dark colours, so that’s the primary reason.

– The second reason is that it is a primer with pigment and oil, so the canvas is not absorbent at all anymore and you can get more slippery layers very quickly, the colour becomes more covering.

– It also gives a little bit of warmth to all tints that you’ll apply on it. If you’re working on flesh, you’ll immediately get a tint which will embody shapes. So you only need a little bit of ochre or a lighter colour to model flesh straight away.

– And another reason why I really like red is that it makes all greens stand out