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From Graydon Parrish

Published before 2005


I disagree. Doing a monochrome underpainting is a great way to divide and conquer. One can concentrate on drawing, design and values, then chroma and color later. There are also effects that one cannot achieve with opaque paint. Where would we be without Titian and Caravaggio who both used monochrome preparations? Even Sargent did sort of a dead coloring. Here, though, alla prima really means unplanned, which one can see in the work of Gerhartz and Schmid. They wait until the painting is at an advanced stage to worry about the composition. For classical painters, this is not the way to go. It seems that the more finished one's work is, the more planning that is necessary.