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Laying in Color for an Underpainting

Think about the kind of color palette that you'd like to use for your Photoshop painting. Will it feature warm browns, oranges, and blues like mine, or will it have primarily cooler blues and purples?

Paint a base color (underpainting) that will establish the color theme for the entire image. (I used a light ochre for my painting.) Choose the Brush tool, select the Spatter 59 pixels preset, and scale it to about 150 pixels. Using broad strokes, block in color on the background layer, like mine in Figure 6.

My scanned sketch with a warm orange-ochre base color laid in underneath. The warm base color is painted on the background layer.

Next, using the Flat Blunt Short Stiff preset for the Mixer Brush tool, and using your sketch as a guide, begin to block in your color areas. After I had laid in most of my base colors, I added more brushwork to the ocean. For the sky, I used the Round Blunt Medium Stiff preset and a Dry setting to lay in patches of opaque color; then, using a Moist setting, I softened the edges of some of the clouds. I used a similar brushing process for the water. Figure 7 shows my painting at this point.

The underpainting in progress, with brushwork painted with the Flat Blunt Short Stiff and Round Blunt Medium Stiff presets.

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