un·​der·​draw·​ing ˈən-dər-ˌdrȯ-iŋ How to pronounce underdrawing (audio)
: a preliminary sketch made on a surface (such as a canvas or panel) prior to painting

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The technical term for the underdrawing is spolvero, an Italian term of art referring to a charcoal guiding sketch created by a form of stenciling. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 1 Oct. 2020 Then the artist would apply a layer (or more) of variously colored paints to define the underdrawing. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 29 July 2020 Infrared reflectography showed that Bruegel’s copious underdrawing, very visible elsewhere (sometimes even through worn paint), is missing there. Judith H. Dobrzynski, WSJ, 21 Jan. 2020 Previously unseen underdrawings on the work’s wood panel, for instance, showed the artist changed compositional details including the position of the figures’ hands multiple times. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, 18 Nov. 2019 The underdrawings just add to the mystery of the painting. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, 15 Aug. 2019 Since around 2005, infrared technology has made the museum aware of an underdrawing beneath the six-foot tall, wood-panel painting. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, 15 Aug. 2019 The new research has shown how the second underdrawing, while aligning much more closely to the finished version, nonetheless displays his characteristic elaborations and adjustments from drawing to painting. Fox News, 16 Aug. 2019 Lorenzo’s contribution seems certain — certain tics of his appear, such as hooked lines visible in the underdrawing. Cate Mcquaid, BostonGlobe.com, 8 Mar. 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'underdrawing.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1968, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of underdrawing was in 1968

Dictionary Entries Near underdrawing

Cite this Entry

“Underdrawing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underdrawing. Accessed 9 Dec. 2022.

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