Colour your ground.

by L. D.

When preparing your canvas, add some paint to the final coat of gesso or use a coloured gesso. Your coloured ground is now into a tonal range rather than at one extreme (white).

This encourages better usage of darks and forces a situation where you paint your whites. For adults a coloured ground is not as intimidating as a stark white blank canvas. For children a benefit is that they can work immediately one their subject and produce an attractive result due to the background colour.

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use of strong colour background
by: mimosa

Instead of dark colours, I use vivid colours, red, orange, or purple, for instance, then when painting the main subject, I leave spaces to let the colour shine through. Also, a watered down acrylic paint on top of the colors can produce interesting tones.

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