While in this release it doesn't seem possible to change the color of the background, you can import an image you create in Sketch and use it as a background for your sketch.
I wrote an article/tutorial in which I use this technique to add a colored background behind a pencil sketch. For other drawings with more modeling, highlight and shadows, I've used this technique for the exact purpose that you mentioned in your question.
Below is a link to my article. I hope that it is helpful to you.
Best wishes, Cher
More Sketching on the Go: Freehand Sketching with Adobe Photoshop Sketch and Adobe Ink (2016)
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1. Open Illustrator Draw and create a (closed) rectangle of any color
2. Long-Press inside that shape to fill it with the same color, zoom to fill screen.
3. Copy it to the clipboard
4. Return to Sketch, then from the add image icon, choose the 'plus' icon, and select the Paste Image option
You can scale it to fill your artboard. It'd be nice to have layers in Sketch, but that's another thread.
Thank you Ko and Sue, your help was not only timely but inspirational. For a while I was using Procreate and there were many aspects of Procreate I very much liked. Thanks to you I am finding that Adobe's Sketch might be a superior program. I use my ipad-pro at drawing meets where there is a model that changes her or his pose every 2, 5, 10, or 20 minutes. Might you know how to enlarge the work space? I've read that somewhere some function of Sketch allows you to have infinite space. My work space now goes to a full screen with 1/4 view; in this 10 or 20 min drawing I could only enlarge half of his left calf to full screen. Is there a way to widen the resolution so that I could bring out finer details? Say, from a full view screen to 1/10. From working on the full figure to working on his toes? And again thank you very much for your help. If I get anywhere with my ipad and Sketch it will have been because of you.
Sent from my iPad
I can't take any credit at all for either enlightening or inspiring you. That was all Ko.
I think what you're referring to is zoom capability. And, regarding that... It's a request I hear frequently. I do know that the team is looking at how both canvas size and zoom could behave differently in the app. Much more than that, I don't know. I will, however, pass your feedback along to the Sketch team.
I hope that helps a bit.
That article is so helpful! Thank you!