Last semester, my final project was Starry Night.
My project started with a layer of imprimatura, a transparent shade of yellow ochre. This layer is important at several stages of painting. First, it provides a color balance. Since the deep tone of the background is established from the start, paint is required to either lighten or darken the canvas. Later, the shaded portion of the canvas is allowed to “poke thru” allowing deep shadows. Finally for me, the beginning painter, the imprimatura can hide a lack of skill, such as allowing the brush to skip.