Off (& On) The Walls

Have you ever noticed how many art galleries and museums change wall colors depending on the art that’s on display?

Unless your work is very modern, your paintings are likely to look better displayed on a colored wall too.

However, in the studio where I work, I find it useful to have walls painted a neutral color. I like to see a color be about the value of a brown paper bag (I'm not kidding).

The color on my studio wall will adversely influence my color choices while painting so I like to stick to dull neutral earth colors.

This is me and I hung an old faded oriental carpet behind my easel. You can see how the white on the edge of my canvas shows (by comparison) how dark my studio wall really is.

I cannot paint when the color "white" is in my field of vision - it completely throws off my "eye" as all other colors will look much too dark.

The Old Masters used to tone their canvas (imprimatura) so they wouldn't have to look at "white."

Many art museums have darkish colored walls as it shows off the paintings very well. The right color background will make the art come to life.

Stark white walls can make an Old Master style painting look much too dark and dead.

The varieties of wall colors that look great are endless.

It is very effective to have something in the painting both darker and lighter in value than the value of the walls surrounding it.

Also notice that the museum paintings here are hung relatively low on the wall so that the viewer's eye level falls approximately mid-painting.

1 comment:

Enzie at World Market Portraits said...

Lovely photo of yourself. That painting on your easel looks very nice as well.