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Artsy Fartsy, Featured Writers

Painting on Black Canvas

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Over the past few years, many artists have developed a passion for painting on black canvas. The reason is because a black background can help the painter express so much more of his inner world than a plain and simple white one. In fact, one of the very first things people learn nowadays when attending an art class is to avoid painting on a white canvas as it will not give the finished product the proper visibility it deserves and it will become boring to the viewer fairly soon.

When painting on black canvas, on the contrary, the subject of the painting itself stands out and reaches a place of its own on the canvas. When looking at paintings on black canvas, it almost feels as if the subject of the painting is about to step out and reach out to the viewer. This is true especially if the subject is painted with bright and bold colors that make the painting seem alive and real on the deep contrast that the black background provides. They express happiness, joy and love for life.

On the other hand, by using different shades of black, white and grey, the painting can suggest moody, mysterious, gothic, shady, and scary scenarios. The deep dark background of the black canvas can help artists express their anxiety, frustration, dissatisfaction and unhappiness.

Ways to properly paint on a black canvas

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The technique that an artist needs to use to properly paint of a black canvas can be slightly different from the one he uses when painting on a white one. First of all, the black canvas is usually not framed, which makes it difficult for the painter to come up with a solution as to how to cover the painting’s sides in order not to leave them blank. Some artists opt for a unified painting, meaning they continue the painting on the side as well, giving it a multiple-dimension look. Other painters instead choose the old-fashioned way of covering the sides with duct tape before they start painting.

When approaching painting on a black canvas, it is suggested to begin by drawing a sketch of the subject by using a light grey pencil and then cover it with white paint. In order to give the painting dimension and depth, it is important to use darker colors in contrast with lighter ones that will help create the impression that the painting itself is about to come out of the canvas.

It is recommended using either shades of white or yellow ochre as beginning colors when painting on a black canvas. Even if the yellow will seem to give too much of a contrast from the black background, this impression will quickly change as the other colors follow to create the subject that is intended to be portrayed. When painting on black canvas it is preferred not to use watercolors and oils as they give the impression of wavy and weak images. On the contrary, acrylics create a much firmer and assertive impression when adapted to black canvas paintings.

This was a guest post left by Aronno755, a writer and art lover. In order to find the best deals on blank canvases and any other tool your inner artist might require, visit artistsblankcanvas.co.uk.

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About Leigh Langston

I am the artist behind the Dangerous Lee Network. I create social media marketing campaigns for artists and creative entrepreneurs. In 2013, The Dangerous Lee Network ranked in the top 11,000 websites in the U.S. according to Alexa. That same year the network received 3 million views. Content from the network has been featured on The TODAY Show with Kathie Lee & Hoda, has been nominated for four Black Weblog Awards and selected as a Top Fashion Blog to follow in 2013 and 2014. I am also the author of the Amazon best selling safe sex erotica anthology, "Keep Your Panties Up and Your Skirt Down" and an eBook on the affects of colorism, The Half Series: When Black People Look White.

Discussion

6 thoughts on “Painting on Black Canvas

  1. Hi, Kelly! Sorry I can’t help you but try Google. Good luck!

    Like

    Posted by Leigh Langston | 03/11/2015, 2:46 PM
  2. Can you give some information on how the black canvas needs to be primed. I’ve used acrylic paints on my black canvas and it doesn’t adhere very well.

    Like

    Posted by Kelly | 03/11/2015, 2:44 PM
  3. Yes, great idea!

    Like

    Posted by Leigh "Dangerous Lee" Langston | 10/14/2014, 8:14 AM
  4. If you can’t find black canvas, simply paint it black first.

    Like

    Posted by Anonymous | 10/13/2014, 10:20 PM
  5. I’ve never tried this, but want to. I hope Hobby Lobby has some black canvases in stock. I’ve never seen them before.

    Like

    Posted by Dangerous Lee | 01/24/2013, 4:49 PM
  6. i agree. I never start any picture with a white canvas, it’s always better to start darker and build up

    Like

    Posted by maugryph | 01/24/2013, 4:42 PM

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