I should advise you to try a variety of textures to find out by personal experience the most sympathetic ground. It is well to learn to feel " at home" under varying conditions, for a coarse canvas on which you might paint the head of an old man would hardly be suitable if a child's face were your subject. However, it is wise for a
student not to go to extremes in his selections.
Except in the case of studies for more important
work, do not paint on toned canvas, for the reason
that it is difficult to evade the moral influence
of a dull ground.
It makes for dulness, while it
flatters you that you are painting brilliantly ; but for rapid studies it has its uses, the background being to a certain extent already indicated.
For this purpose I have found brown paper, stretched over common canvas and -then sized, a delightful ground for studies in oil or guache.
The wood panels made to fit into the lid of the paint-box are of a pleasant sant warm tone, and
are to be recommended both for landscape sketches
or small figures. If you find after some experience that your work inclines to soapiness, you may correct this objectionable tendency by using an absorbent canvas.
The thick wood panels used by the old masters are rarely painted on to-day, but for small, highly finished work they are preferable to canvas.
Let your palette be not less than eighteen inches in length ; rather more is advisable.