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Warm Underpainting

Hi everyone! Today I painted a sweet and simple painting for you indicative of many of the daily paintings I create.  The key to a daily painting is small, fast, and simple.  Remember to be gentle with yourself in this process.  Not every painting needs or should be a concerted effort to create your masterpiece.  This is a warm-up to the days studio work and much larger pieces.  Think of it as a child would.  Practice your scales before you learn to play Chopin. Enjoy the process.  Soon you’ll be whipping these out easily!

If you’re not a daily painter or find that a daunting idea, I recommend this book by Carol Marine to inspire you. Marine’s medium is oil but the concepts are ideas are universal.

Daily painting is the number one way I learned my techniques. I began a concerted effort several years ago to paint everyday and to teach myself the habit of creativity.  Yes, creativity can become a habit!  Not all moments in the studio happen in a fit of great inspiration.  Teaching yourself to set aside time for pure creativity every day will help you carve out time to learn and grow.  Some people groan and express dismay at the daily painting concept.  But, do you watch tv everyday?  Read?  Walk? Eat? Creativity can be part of that, too.

These paintings are small and simple.  This wasn’t a painting from a reference, just one I made up based upon my landscape and common scenes.  It gets my creative juices flowing and helps me focus my intentions.

Today’s Youtube painting began on some Uart scrap paper.  I keep a little folder of paper trimmings specifically for my daily paintings on a shelf in my studio.  When I want to try a new technique or color palette, it is easy to grab some paper and make some quick marks.

I began by applying some acrylic ink in Purple Lake, Sepia, and Burnt Umber with my pipe foam to indicate some trees and shadows.  I like using found materials in place of paint brushes…getting my hands close to the paper/canvas is very natural.

Waiting for the ink to dry takes only a few moments and then the pastel fun begins!  I used pastels by Terry Ludwig and also Rembrandt.  (I think maybe a few Unisons also snuck in).  For more info about the materials I prefer, visit my Resources page!

This painting took around 14 minutes! I like to do even shorter works especially when my kids are home or errands need running.  One reason the pastel medium called to me is that I felt I could create something everyday.  No dry time, no waiting for things to cure.  No paint that dries up and ruins. It’s always there, always fresh (as long as you don’t spill coffee on it!).

I hope you make time to carve out a creative moment today.  It is invigorating and healing.



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By | 2017-11-15T08:48:51+00:00 April 6th, 2017|


  1. Pastels April 6, 2017 at 5:49 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the video today! I will have to try it this weekend. I need to get me some acrylic inks, so I can attempt your techniques with it. Love how you paint the cloud first and then cut the sky into it! I think that will help me a lot! Plus, I love to watch how you manipulate the pastels! For a novice, it helps to see different ways to make marks. Love it!

    • Bethany April 7, 2017 at 9:19 am - Reply

      Thank you so much! Glad this will help. I like this method of working with clouds…the clouds have an airiness to them when you’re not layering them over the sky. 🙂 Have a great Friday!

  2. Pastels April 11, 2017 at 5:32 pm - Reply

    Hi Bethany! Just have a quick question for you….which pastelists influenced you the most? Thanks! Jen

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