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john Stenger
03-23-2015, 05:05 PM
I habitually start each painting from a pure white Gesso background, but I wonder if acrylic colors stand out just as well from black or darker colors behind them! ...I have never really done any testing of this! but I am sure some of you members will have some experience on this issue. Thanks

Charlie's Mum
03-23-2015, 05:10 PM
I usually use white or a coloured ground ........ but Virginia (vmrs if you want to search for her work) almost always uses a black ground.
With acrylics, you can use anything!:D

Fox_eNova
03-23-2015, 06:04 PM
I prefer black or at least a dark BG. makes the subject pop more, IMHO.
I've been using a gesso that I colored with a black and raw umber and it's
kind of a light black (slate black) so that any real blacks will still be noticeable.
Works for me, save time and ge$$o.
The flash glare makes it look grey, but at the top actual color.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Mar-2015/1714334-black.jpg

ColinS
03-23-2015, 08:47 PM
I did a painting for this month's Different Strokes Challenge using a dark background. (The thread is Stickied at the top) I liked the effect.

I have also used other colours. I also like a combination of cadmium red and burnt sienna, especially when painting a sunny scene outdoors, or a scene from a warm southern place (ie California). Lots of energy coming from that. I used cobalt blue for a painting that would have a lot of cool shade and a large contrasting orange element. But with landscapes little of the background typically actually remains visible.

Bob in Florida
03-23-2015, 10:22 PM
I like to add color to the gesso application. Depending on what I'm painting will determine the color, but generally earthtones or, much like Fox eNova, a black made from burnt umber and cobalt blue or ultramarine blue. Lately I have used Raw Umber and a blue. I also like to create a "frame" with color on the canvas. Kind of like a matted picture. Like I did on my earlier post on this thread titled "Ghost".

john Stenger
03-24-2015, 12:35 PM
I know of a well known artist that does primarily Skies, and he Backgrounds with an orange looking color, almost like red lead looks! He told me the dutch old master painters used this to make the blues and sky brighter! I don't know if it's true though!

Jon Bradley
03-24-2015, 05:10 PM
I find I use way~ less paint when I use a white BG. Of course if you're doing some super high contrast stuff or old-school portraits, I could see a black background being better there.

I use acrylics like watercolors a lot of the time and use all the white I can get on the BG. Also, if you muck it up, it's a little easier just scrubbing down to a white, but yeah, it's acrylic so you can do whatever you want! (lol):thumbsup:

Jon Bradley
03-24-2015, 05:13 PM
I prefer black or at least a dark BG. makes the subject pop more, IMHO.
I've been using a gesso that I colored with a black and raw umber and it's
kind of a light black (slate black) so that any real blacks will still be noticeable.
Works for me, save time and ge$$o.
The flash glare makes it look grey, but at the top actual color.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Mar-2015/1714334-black.jpg

Separate, de-rail note, Master's Touch is good stuff!

cliff.kachinske
03-24-2015, 06:13 PM
Funny you should ask. I've just started a high-contrast piece on a very dark (black and thalo green applied heavy) background.

I'm finding that I can paint most of an oval and my eye somehow fills in the remaining piece, especially if there's a lost edge.

Textures and details seem to show up with the barest hint from the brush.

Don't know about red lead, but burnt siena and cerulean blue are amazing together.