Several weeks ago I was at the art supply store trolling for canvases for my next project, when there I discovered black canvases stocked on shelves. I don’t ever remember seeing any primed in black before and thought that if anyone wanted a black background that they would paint the standard white canvas in black.
I purchased one small 8″ x 10″ to experiment. I figured that using the black canvas would serve as the perfect background for my next painting in the “Black and White and Red All Over” series.
This is my dapper dude, my first study in black canvas and was the only study I completed before launching into the final piece. One thing to note about black canvas is its ability to absorb paint color. The only color that stands out on its own against black is white. The rest of the colors need a little help, and that typically entails painting the object first with white or a light color before applying the top color.
First, I outlined the drawing with a white charcoal pencil, then layered my dapper dude and the umbrella in white. Once that dried, I painted over the white with red, making the top coat more visible. Had I painted the red directly on the canvas the color would have been lost.
The next painting was a little more ambitious. I purchased a 12″ x 16″ black canvas for my new piece “Red Hoodie.” “Red Hoodie” was inspired by a small digital sketch that I drew on the iPhone that was actually a picture of a yellow hoodie. I always wanted to a create larger version of that so this was my chance.
I sketched everything out in a charcoal pencil, although not before erasing it a million times until everything was laid out to my satisfaction. I was worried that the charcoal would smear and never come off of the canvas but I was able to erase a lot of the sketchy lines with my big white eraser.
I tinted the white with a little black and painted the first layer of the red hoodie in white, leaving the negative space of the black to define the sleeve and pocket. To be honest, I really liked the hoodie in white because of the contrast, and that it gave the piece a bit of comic book vibe.
Then I tinted the red with a black because I really didn’t want the red to be so bright. This worked out beautifully.
I drew the rain in chalk trying to create long thin lines like I see in the comic books. Using a rubber tip blade with a long handle ( I don’t know what it’s called), I dipped the edge in paint and did a stamp effect on top of the charcoal lines. Prior to that I did a few practice runs on a separate piece of paper but it still took me a while to get it right. When I applied it to the canvas some were a little messy so I just used some black paint to clean up some of the lines.
Lastly, I added the splashes to the back and sides of the hoodie, signed off on it and called it a day.