View Full Version : What colour paper for background?

10-26-2014, 08:43 AM
I've been asked to paint a portrait of this dog. However, because of his colouring, I'm unsure what colour paper to use. I've tried various greys but they look awful, white isn't right and black makes him look washed out. My best option, I think, is to do the portrait on the closest colour paper and then put in a background to cover the paper. The question is, what colour would work best? I work in pastels. Any suggestions gratefully received. http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Oct-2014/1709998-Danny_3.jpg

Vivien Maloney
10-27-2014, 11:30 PM
Hi there Molandme and a warm welcome to the Animal & Wildlife Forum! :wave:
It's always difficult to decide on a background colour for a dog portrait, isnt it?
Nice dog and you can get lots of texture into his fur with pastels.

Background paper color? I think it depends if you are intending to put the grass in the background or are you just going to leave the background the paper color?
If you are putting the green grass into the background you could go for a pale paper, put your green grass in, then you would also need to use some of the green in the dogs fur to tie the whole portrait together.
If you're not going to put the grass into the background, you could use a blue toned paper as there's blues in the dogs fur. The choice is yours.

Just a note: if you had posted this thread in the main page of this Forum you would have got many more replies. This Sub-Forum is mainly for Projects etc.
As Moderator of this Forum, I can move your thread to the main part of this Forum if you would like me too?

10-31-2014, 05:55 AM
Thank you Vivien, I wasn't sure where to put it. I used to use these forums several years ago and I'm sure somebody's moved things around since then! lol

I've done the painting on a very pale cream, which was the best of a bad lot really, and it looks OK. I'm going to post the picture for comments and criticisms because I'm not very happy with it. The other decent photo I was given is full face, which I prefer not to do normally, but will have a go and see, it might go better than this one!


chammi kaiser
06-04-2015, 07:23 AM
Cream is a good idea for a bg. as the dog is big and the hair strong and wiry . Gorgeous dog by the way. I am looking forward to seeing it. Lovely to have you with us in the Animal and Wildlife Forum.

01-21-2016, 09:54 PM
Do they get a cut rate since it only has one eye? ;)

01-25-2016, 01:17 AM
Sorry, I forgot all about this! I have to say it was probably the most difficult face I've had to paint and I'm not 100% happy with it but it could have gone very pear-shaped if I'd fiddled with it.

Benjy's owner was very pleased with the picture, thank goodness. Oh, and I added another eye so he got his money's worth!! :angel:


03-06-2016, 03:19 PM
I like the gray you chose. This piece has a vintage mood, to me. Very nice.

03-07-2016, 01:37 AM
Thank you.

Deborah Susan Hill
07-16-2016, 04:33 PM
I'd go with a warm red that is somewhat muted if you are doing a portrait vignette without any real background for this charcoal gray dog.