Leonardo da Vinci once said that " a painter should begin every canvas with a wash of black, because all things in nature are dark except where exposed by the light".
I found this to be a very interesting observation... especially since most of my paintings start with a black canvas. I vary it a little, sometimes using purple, blue or a dark green.. but mostly black.
I love black.
Some artists believe that you should never use black, but rather make your own black by mixing colours. I believe that you should do what works best for you. I use black gesso, and mix in purple, blue, and black fluid acrylics. This gives it a bit of a shine.
I use it to give form to the elements in my painting, and to create high contrast areas which attract the eye. It is satisfying to see a painting come to life out of a black canvas.
Thank you Leonardo for your insight. :)
Liz R. Derksen is an artist living in BC.