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Colour of canvas/paper to start with?

edited August 2013 in Drawing
Hi, I've been drawing on like colour paper that is has a colour that's close to the overalls of the photos I've been referring to..

Is that the right way? Or is there a better way to determine which stain/colour paper is good to start a drawing/painting?

So lets say if I want to paint/draw this..

Do I start with like a burnt umber/pale burnt umber or can I start with a red base colour?


  • Mavis

    The main aim is to get away from a glaring white surface that distorts your perception of values. So any mid value neutral is beneficial. Second rank benefits involve obviating the need to grind on huge areas of color to hide the white. A base color also recedes the background lending a perception of depth to the image. Lastly a tonal ground unifies and harmonizes the color scheme.

    Though, for drawing (graphite, charcoal) the white or highlight is often the base paper color. You may be using a white pencil or gouache to achieve these light tones.

    For color, I suggest any mid tone neutral that best suits your subject or painting aim is best. Green, gray, blue or beige/brown neutrals are common choices.

  • edited August 2013
    Thanks your comment came in helpful!!!
    dencal said:


    The main aim is to get away from a glaring white surface that distorts your perception of values.

    yup I find white intimidating to work on for oil pastel/paint..

    Yeah! I thought a beige is good base for this or light burnt umber..

    Hahaha! I just have red paper around then I thought it might be suitable but.. It made the yellow flowers in the foreground look dull.. So I just stopped and I think I need a bigger piece to work on. #-o

  • Mavis

    That is a spectacular shot of a bear. Love how the out of focus foreground and background isolates the sharply defined fur texture.

  • edited August 2013
    @dencal not my photo (found it on the net, national geographic) but I have to agree !! :D Applaud to the awesome photography~~ =D>
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