under painting


the first coat of paint, especially the initial painting on a canvas in which the major areas, tones, colors, and forms are indicated in mass.

1865–70; under- + painting

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World English Dictionary
underpainting (ˈʌndəˌpeɪntɪŋ)
the first layer in a painting, indicating the design and main areas of light and shade

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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