I usually do my impressionist landscape oil paintings on either a black, or vermillion, toned surface, rather than using the white canvas as it comes from the store.   If not vermillion or black, I choose any color that appeals to me at the moment.  I like the effect if a bit shows through, and it’s easier for me as I paint alla prima, or without sketching on the canvas.  I might paint one out 100 paintings on an untoned, or white, canvas.

Maxfield Parrish painted with an elaborate undertone process in shades and layers of deep blue before he began the final, visible painting.  Many other painters, known and unknown, use toned canvas….Bob Ross, a TV/internet artist, who made ‘formula’ painting popular used a method where he toned the canvas and completed the painting on top, using the toned canvas as the sky/water/background.

It surprises me how many seasoned painters are not aware of toning their canvas, and how many are hesitant to try it.  What amazes me even further is the number of people, artists and not, who ask if it’s ‘o.k.’ to tone the canvas, to paint a landscape on a black or red or even purple canvas.

Thankfully, there are no Art Police, and really, no set in stone rules, so you can paint on patterned wallpaper if you like !   This principle extends to me painting the Zen inspired watercolor on tissue paper paintings, or using watercolors on bits of kindling wood that appealed to me.  In theory, there is a correct paper for painting with watercolor paints, but so many other surfaces give wonderful results  :}

Here are some examples of impressionist landscape oil paintings on toned canvas.   Please see more of my work for sale on Etsy at www.lynnefrenchdesigns.com

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