Verdaccio Underpainting: A Brief Introduction
Verdaccio is an underpainting technique and color which came from the Italian fresco painters of the early Renaissance. Created traditionally from a mixture of Mars Black and Yellow Ochre pigments, Verdaccio was used to establish tonal values in fresco painting quickly, creating a soft greenish-gray for the shadows of flesh tones. Architectural details in frescoes were often left in the pure Verdaccio coloring, hence we are able to still see evidence of it today in works such as Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel.
What does Verdaccio have to do with modern oil painting? As any artist can tell you, achieving realistic flesh tones is one of the hardest aspects of painting in color. But even early tempera painters of the Middle Ages knew that if they painted their figures first with a greenish hue, the flesh tones painted on top of them would "pop" out more convincingly and realistically. Green is the complementary color to red, and placing these two hues close together or on top of each other in a painting can create dynamic effects. The green can also "kill" some of the intensity of pure orange/pink flesh tones which can otherwise look plastic or doll-like on a painting.
Primitivism -- Realism -- Surrealism
|THE STYLES |ABOUT THE STYLES |THE ARTISTS |
|Abstract |Abstract artists felt that paintings did not have to show |Sonia Delaunay |
| |only things that were recognizable. In their paintings they |Jackson Pollock |
| |did not try to show people, animals, or places exactly as | |
| |they appeared in the real world. They mainly used color and | |
| |shape in their paintings to show emotions. Some...