Staining the canvas.

I stained my past canvases the same as advised by Mark and I found the paint looked ok on the canvas as I was putting it on. This time I toned the canvas more of a peach colour and this time the colour looks horrendous, far too pinky blue, instead of the colour I see on the photo. I know we have been warned to expect this but I had no problem with the first portrait. Any ideas ? is the Peachy background influencing the colour I see ?


  • SummerSummer -
    edited November 2015
    In my experience, it does.  Have you tried cutting out a large square of white cardboard or paper and putting a small square cutout in the middle of it and holding it up to the blue to isolate the toned canvas from the blue?  I believe that will give you an answer.  What a coincidence.  I made several of these today.   :)  
  • Thanks summer,I have been telling some friends in an art group that I belong to something similar with regard to tonal values. I will try it and see !
  • Can the stain be saved that Mark makes in his video and if so for how long? Would be nice to mix up a bunch at once. I suppose would be best to go ahead and stain several canvases at the same time but space might limit it to three or four that i have room for to dry. 
  • I don't think I'm understanding. So the stain is a too peachy and the color you put on top (that is color matched to you photo) looks too pinky blue?  So the ground is influencing what you see? Is your color that you put on surrounded by this peachy color? The color you see is influenced by the colors that surround it. So, if you color matched it to your photo, trust it and continue working around that spot. Once you get most of the canvas covered, you'll see the colors as they are supposed to be.

  • yeah use a color checker, colors will look different based on what surrounding colors are. 
  • @MeganS Yes you understand it perfectly. That was a few months ago. The point that I was making was, that with the first painting that I had done, the colour looked ok as I was putting it onto the canvas, even though Mark said that it might look all wrong, but the second painting, which I had stained differently, the paint looked wrong as I was putting it on.  @rstall The stain that Mark uses is made of Acrylic, so it wont last, as it dries quickly in an or or two.
  • Yeah trust the color checker, I am assuming you  liked the colors as they were in reference photo or live subject you chose...every painting will be different, can't judge i imagine those early stages.....and i looked it up, he uses a alkyd oil paint, which is some kind of alkyd resin binder /oil hybrid thing, i don't know if that binder is the same as acrylic but their website says when used as an underpainting it follows the fat over lean principle. I would assume Mark would use it if he didn't feel it was archival. But maybe they are too new to know. 
  • i mean Mark would NOT use it haha, but you bring up a great point, hadn't considered the stain. I imagine since it is completely covered by the layers of oil paint, should be pretty protected. 

  • I'm speaking for Mark here, but I believe he uses oil primed linen, which would mean, he would have to use an oil ground. I use burnt umber/holbein white mix with turp. I use more turp and more umber than what Mark does in his videos. More of a wash I guess. I premix mine and leave it in a mason jar and use it until I feel it doesn't keep it's consistency any more. I am finding out that paintings have  more brilliancy if everything is mixed fresh. That includes ground and paints. 
    Marie, I did a painting a while back that I could not believe the color of my child's face as I was painting it. It looked like death purple. It wasn't until I added the coat and various other things surrounding the face that I saw that the color was correct. It's on the forum here somewhere...
  • marieb said:
    The stain that Mark uses is made of Acrylic, so it wont last, as it dries quickly in an hour or two.
    You're thinking "alkyd", not acrylic. He is experimenting with acrylic stains but the stuff he recommends currently (and in the past) is not acrylic.
  • @MeganS  @David_Quinn_Carder  I don't know when or whyI started staining my canvas with Acrylic. When  I got the Carder Method DVD I bought the quick dry white to stain the canvas, and used it...then didn't paint for a year, so must have forgotten i was to use oil and just used Acrylic !  @martenvisser  I dont think that anyone has understood the point that I was making...I fully expected the paint to look wrong, but that didn't happen with the first or second painting.... perhaps because I had watched the DVD and Portrait download so much, but when I changed the stain a little I noticed the paint looking "wrong" immediately...all is well now :)  Thanks everyone for the input and advice.
  • I use a blend of Burnt Sienna or Burnt umber  & Yellow ocher plus white, all of it W&N Acrylics. That works well for me. Once again I want to say how great Mark Carder's work and teaching are!
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