Katie Liddiard

Toning A Canvas

Katie Liddiard
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Duration:   4  mins

When you get into the studio with a bright white canvas, one of the first things you might want to do is tone it. Artist Katie Liddiard demonstrates how she likes to tone her canvases so that the subsequent layers of paint that will inevitably be applied over it are perceived from a middle value instead of the extreme top of the value scale.

There are many different mixtures of tones that you can use. You’ll want to think about the overall mood you’re aiming for in the final painting to direct the tone that you apply. Some artists like a very dark tone to begin with, adding drama and atmosphere to the final piece. Katie typically likes to start out with a very inky brown and blue mixture on the canvas, but continues to add various colors to the mixture every time she applies paint to the canvas. This adds a little extra interest and depth in the painting if any of it is seen in the final piece. It ends up being very brushy and will dry that way, but, again, is just another element of variation and interest.
After feathering out any large, vibrant streaks of color and drying overnight, your canvas is ready to be painted on. It’s a great way to get going on a project while serving a very important purpose.

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