View Full Version : I've been shy about asking...

11-18-2010, 12:45 AM
No one likes to look like a dunce:o but I want to be better versed in the terminology everyone uses here. I'm sure I will get some of these wrong, so please correct me.

Support: the type of paper/other used on which the painting is created

Backing board: the board on which to mount your painting while you are painting it or the board that the paper is adhered to for framing or both?

Underpainting: the color(s) used on a bare piece of paper prior to the creation of the painting itself.

The Ground: also an underpainting?

I'm sure there are others I'm forgetting, but these are off the top of my head. Please add more! Thanks for your help and for not laughing at me:lol:

Also, thanks for bearing with me. I know I've asked a lot of questions this week!!

11-18-2010, 08:43 AM
Lisa, thanks for asking, I'm confused too (but then, English is not my first language).

To add to the confusion:

Support often seems to mean the board you attach your paper to in order to paint.

Ground, seems also to be the primer and/or grit applied to a paper prior to painting.

Underpainting, yes you got it. It can be wet or dry, same or another medium (watercolour, oils, charcoal etc). It can be in colour, or in greyscale, and anything between, like complementary colours, or only two colours, or one single colour in several values. It can be detailed, or blocked in, it can cover the whole paper so the paper doesn't show or be scribbled in.

11-18-2010, 03:45 PM
When I use the word "support" I mean the thing on which I am supporting the crystals of my pastel pigment, i.e., the thing I am painting on, be it Canson paper (correct or smooth side), UArt or Wallis or Ampersand or Richeson Gatorboard or a brick or a piece of plywood with Golden's or Lascaux's or Colourfix applied, or whatever. But maybe that is just me.

Though I have heard people use it like Charlie suggests, as the thing supporting your support.

11-18-2010, 06:55 PM
I think support and backing board are two different ways to say the same thing. Some types of paper or sand paper require something firm behind them, other things like Pastelboard are a board with a gritty surface and can simply be painted on without a backing board on the right easel. And then you have people who make their own surfaces, and they use the term "ground" as to the particular things they are using to make their surface gritty or smooth or whatever. Underpainting Charlie really covered that one!!

11-18-2010, 09:14 PM
Thanks, Charlie, Barry, and Lynn. I have a better idea about what others are discussing now! Appreciate it!

11-18-2010, 09:38 PM
When I was painting in oils I was trained to call the canvas or panel a 'support'. In pastel I use this to mean whatever I'm painting on: i.e. paper.

11-19-2010, 12:23 AM
Thanks, Timon! What a cool first name btw. Being new to art in general, and pastels in particular, I'm a little behind everyone else so I appreciate all of you helping me to get some of the basics down!

11-19-2010, 06:47 AM
re your definitions/descriptions
support - yes
ground - preparation/addition of any kind to make a working surface
underpainting - a first application of colour, of any kind,
in any manner, for a variety of reasons
backing board - yes, both - usually a smooth surface

:} Ed

11-19-2010, 07:01 AM
Great, that makes sense, thanks!

Timon, that's how I learned it too. So, be it canvas or board, or copper, or aluminum for oils, that would make it paper, primed papers, or papers mounted on boards too for pastels -- all would be supports.

11-19-2010, 10:32 AM
tooth - how much grip your support has, Canson paper with less ("right" side with more than "wrong" side) and UArt with more (800, 600, and 500 progressively less than 400)