Wednesday, February 4, 2015

This week in the studio: prep work!

Toning panels

I have been toning canvas panels to get ready for painting season. Toning is the practice of using color to deaden the white of a canvas. It adds depth and complexity to paintings by peeking through the finished scene. It also forces the artist to create a wide range of values within your painting. And when working outdoors it cuts down on the reflected glare off the canvas from the sun.

Most people who tone their canvases choose a light or medium color and apply it lightly, as a wash. I go for full saturation. The Rose Madder color on all of the panels to the left is my number one favorite color to tone with. My paintings often feature a lot of greenery (like fields, trees, grass, etc.), and the reddish underpainting is a nice contrast. But I also like working on Prussian Blue (the navy blue ones). And I prepared a few with Burnt Sienna and Light Ultramarine to experiment with.

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