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

Examples of underdrawing in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Though scholars have previously studied the work, discovering such details as a dotted underdrawing in Anne’s bodice, the recent conservation and cleaning is the first major undertaking in the painting’s history. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 19 Mar. 2024 To create them, Hockney painted directly onto the canvas without any underdrawing, completing each one in two to three sittings, according to the gallery. Teresa Nowakowski, Smithsonian Magazine, 7 Nov. 2023 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

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'underdrawing.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 24 May. 2024.

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