Wednesday, 24 April 2013

First Step: Covering the white of the canvas


Facing the empty expanse of the bright white that is a new canvas is daunting for many artists. We often apply a coloured ground to calm our fears and banish the glare. Most times however, it's the first step of the chess game of painting. The first steps are the groundwork; setting the stage for the layers of action to come.


Girl Surfer oil on canvas © Carol Lee Beckx



This morning I had a reminder of a colour that is a frequent choice as an underpainting. Favorite Paint Mixture: Permanent Rose PV 19 was the subject of a blog post by Elizabeth Floyd this morning.

The clean freshness of Permanent Rose makes a wonderful ground for many subjects. As you can see from the images here, I have used it for landscapes as well as flowers. It gives immediate vibrancy to the canvas.

Hot Palms oil on canvas © Carol Lee Beckx


Sometimes the presence of this powerful colour can cause a few problems but it’s seldom been that I have had to obliterate all trace of it in a painting. 

Pink Roses with Mirrors Work in progess© Carol Lee Beckx



 I love the idea of hiding layers beneath my paint - only I know what secrets lie beneath the surface. (Clearly, many mistakes secrets HAVE to be well hidden, never to see the light of day)

I hope you enjoy looking for some of these early layers underneath the paint of the completed paintings.

Towards Kaapse Hoop oil on canvas © Carol Lee Beckx

To read more about Elizabeth Floyd's colour mixtures here is the link the post.