Why I paint brown on my canvas first

Why I paint brown on my canvas first?

A comment I get a lot at my weddings is.. “ahhh… you can paint! when I saw you painting all brown I thought, who’s hired this bad artist!” or “I wondered why you were painting brown and now you’ve covered it all..”

For the non artist, I guess it seems odd to see me turn up, paint brown all over my nice white canvas and then walk off to take photos of the ceremony. It doesn’t look like I’m a bit of a bad artist, I get it. But there’s actually a method to my madness.

Artists often use an undercoat of brown, or another neutral colour, before painting for several reasons. One reason is to create a toned ground that provides a harmonious base for the colours that will be applied on top.

The neutral colour also helps to create depth and richness in the final painting, as the colours painted on top can interact with the brown underlayer in interesting ways. This can be especially useful when working with transparent or translucent paints, as the brown undercoat can subtly influence the appearance of the colours above it.

Another reason for using a brown undercoat is to provide a mid-tone value that helps to establish the overall value structure of the painting. By starting with a middle value, artists can more easily establish the light and shadow areas of the painting and create a sense of three-dimensional form.

Additionally, the undercoat can help to seal and protect the canvas or other painting surface, preventing paint from being absorbed too quickly or unevenly. This can help to create a more even and consistent surface for the artist to work on.

Overall, using an undercoat of brown or another neutral colour is a common practice among artists that can help to improve the quality and consistency of their paintings.

Sometimes, depending on the lighting, the mood and what colours I want the painting to lean to, I may use another colour instead of brown. Some I’ve used before are grey, pink, orange and peach. interesting hey!





More about the artist.

Hi, I am Poppy, a multi-disciplinary artist, illustrator and graphic designer with a passion for watercolours.

I have been creating for as long as I can remember, and in 2012, opened up iampoppy Designs. I am passionate about helping inspired people bring their creative dreams to life through my art!

From live paintings, watercolour illustrations and portraits, murals right through to surface pattern design, I love getting stuck into so many different projects, keeping me interested, growing and my business ever-changing. The world of a creative!

So please take a look around, and reach out for a chat! Whether it’s print patterns, workshops, live wedding painting or more… I’d love to meet you and hear all about your story!

E-mail me: designs@iampoppy.com

Call me: +61 413 373 215