The choice between the two is a matter of personal preference. I have also tried cross – laminating 3 mm coreflute sheets to about an inch thick. dunno. They are pre primed, but suck up my oil paint as soon as I put it on. While usually white in color, companies have gotten creative with their gessos and are now offering black gesso, clear gesso, etc… They are not very common here in the UK though. It’s also cheaper and comes in more abundance. Some artists prefer the qualities of linen, others prefer cotton. Do let me know how you get on with it. I use arches oil paper, it’s a fantastic surface, inexpensive and fully archival and I have had great success with it.However I felt that I needed to experience a broad range of surfaces. Different brands produce differently canvases, not only in quality and weight but also in texture and priming. It is on my list!! In fact, it is extremely important t… Worth a go perhaps! If you use acrylic gesso, it will suck the oil from overlayers of paint and create flat spots _ the dreaded suede effect. Many art shops supply wood panels, often made of plywood or hardwood. It’s also better for you to not be inhaling the turpentine or tung oil fumes. Gesso Comes First. Gesso is a primer and not a sealer. Gesso is the same as a primer, as in ‘pre-primed canvas’. You can paint over the graphite without problems. The linseed oil in oil paint will deteriorate an unprimed canvas. As for acrylic primers: a lot of ready-made primed canvas has an acrylic primer over it. Do you have any experience using acrylic / plastic panels for painting supports? I hope you will find this (by no means comprehensive) list useful. ‘Universal’ acrylic priming, as said, can vary a lot, but I quite like Belle Arti (from Jackson’s) and Artfix canvas. No matter what, there’s a way to apply art to literally everything in your life. From December 2018 the US is also introducing tighter rules on the use of formaldehyde in wood products. Or just use the white paint to cover the painting without the clear gesso. Acrylic primers will always have some absorbency and I am afraid you will have to try and see which ones you like the best. Also oil-primed canvas is beautifully non-absorbent and the paint will slide around like you’re painting on glass. If Jackson’s says they can be painted on as they are I would definitely take their word for it and when I use them (hopefully soon) I will do just that. I am thinking of using hardboard with acrylic primers (mostly due to easy availability and rigid surface quality). Dibond is a sandwiched product, with layers of aluminium and other materials. Of course you don’t always need professional materials. I must admit I missed this when I worked on aluminium where every brushstroke from the priming to the final stroke remains visible on the super smooth surface. Where do you start? You should also seal under paintings in umbers as they are oil thirsty. I’ll stick to the more traditional supports…. Prime Your Painting Surface . You might prefer a gesso style or universal priming! They are very absorbent, but have a decent thickness and are beautifully smooth. Student grade gesso is, as you might imagine, slightly less viscous and powerful. It is bouncy and will not sag or wave once stretched. However, there are a few considerations that you should take into account first. Since turpentine is very toxic, you might not want to use it if you have little ones in the house that could get their hands on the wooden surface. It must be fine enough for me to paint extremely small details, but I prefer it to have enough texture to give the painting some life and character. Priming and stretching can be done in your studio fairly easily but to save yourself time and hassle you could opt for ready-made primed and stretched canvas from an art materials store. I love oil primed linen as the paint just dances around on top of the canvas, in all its full-colour glory. New layers of paint would lift the underlayers. However, it’s still used in smaller projects where you’re refinishing or repurposing something. Busting the Myths of Oil Painting: Supports, How to Prepare a Copper panel for Oil Painting - SOPHIE PLOEG,, I should really do some time. But better late than never I hope! Happy Painting! I'm wanting to glue oil-primed linen (Claessens) to an MDF board, and no-one near me (in Australia) seems to know what glue to use. Hope you find the perfect solution for you. The choice of texture in a canvas is partly prescribed by how you paint and which brushes you use. Can you use primer instead of gesso? Artist grade gesso is basically a super concentrated version of student grade gesso. I’d love to have your advice ! Acrylic gesso, although not the real gesso used by our oil painting ancestors, is a great ground to paint on top of with any painting medium. Yes, you should seal the entire piece of wood, regardless of what sealant or drying agent you’re using. You don’t hear much about it, because it’s no longer required for commercial construction. Have fun experimenting! Birch is fairly pouros, which is why we don’t want to immediately add the oil paint to it. If neither of those options are available to you or don’t seem like the best option, then you can go for a laminated compressed cardboard with a mica film on it. Most primed canvas comes with a universal primer applied in numerous coats. You’re the artist; the art is just a mark of your creativity that’s left behind, so apply it to everything you can get your brush on. Sophie is an artist, art historian, tutor, author and blogger. Ah, yes…oil priming is not to everyone’s taste…its like rollerskating with brushes – that’s how slippery it is. I was delighted but after learning about sizing, I’m heart sick. Plywood needs to be dried and sealed more than any other type of wood. Hi Daniel, thank you for your kind comment! . What do you use? An oil painting should be done on canvas, right? I am very new to oil painting and was really struggling with the paint consistency and thickness. I just haven’t found the perfect one yet for larger paintings! It is cheap, lightweight, easy to cut and smooth. I do agree with you in liking a rigid surface. She paints portraits and still life and specialises in painting drapery and lace. Sophie. Any ideas are welcome – Love your blogs. I prefer a very fine, almost smooth-but-not-quite, linen texture. I have stuck to shop bought materials. Jo. thoughts? The word gesso is a noun, but many artists also use it as a verb. I must admit I have never tried it. Here is the information about GAC 100 from the Golden website – GAC 100 Multi-Purpose Acrylic Polymer is a sealer that helps prevent Support Induced Discoloration (SID) caused by impurities that are drawn up through a substrate as the acrylic paint dries. I do not really like cotton because of its incredibly regular and fairly coarse texture. Your email address will not be published. I tried Dibond with and without priming and found the one with acrylic primer much stronger as a painting surface than the one without or the one with oil primer. Thank you for sharing. Perhaps one of my readers can give us some details or links to the topic of sizing and priming. It can get a little more complicated if you’re going to paint onto a pre-existing piece of wood in your home, such as an inside retaining wall or the front of a counter area. So “gesso” refers to the water based grounds, that is, the traditional hide glue/calcium carbonate or the modern acrylic polymer variety, while “primer” is the name reserved for an oil based ground for oil painting. Hi Jo, thanks for your comment. For studies and other stuff that won’t end up on a gallery wall there is as much (perhaps even more) choice in supports. Thanks for your input, it is really interesting. I now use it to coat both sides of the MDF before priming it with Golden primer. The nearest I’ve come to it is a nylon/linen mix canvas. Canvas is perceived by many people to be the best support for painting, but hardboard (or wood) should not be shunned. You can also use other types of wood if these are too pricey. Your email address will not be published. I must admit I am a tad concerned about the formaldehyde in it but on the other hand so many art materials manufacturers and artists use it, so perhaps… ugh. I hope you’ll get the gallery! They used a gesso ground made from chalk and glue. So the longevity will be useless. For a coarse canvas you need to use strong brushes. It will cost you nothing  extra and you would support this blog for which I would be most grateful. Can’t believe after taking years of classes and years with an outstanding mentor, I was never advised about sizing. So I have now settled on an acrylic primed extra fine French linen which I enjoy working on very much. I didn’t find a notification. and again thanks for a great blog. See also my Affiliate page. Glad you find it helpful. Some time ago I read about Golden GAC 100 which I suppose is almost the acrylic version of rabbit skin glue. But I have found oil primed stretched linen to be stiff and have a tendency to sag over time. Liquitex Professional White Gesso. The adherence is incredibly good. Hi Sophie, I love your blog and appreciate the information so much. Turpentine should be mixed with a tung oil in a 50/50 blend in order to help treat and prime wood for painting. I haven’t worked on Dibond for a while but still have a sheet in the cupboard. Good luck! How Long Does It Take Acrylic Paint To Dry? The Painting Advice. I adhere alkyd primed linen which I buy from a supplier in New York City to birch plywood with a glue called “Miracle Muck”, or BEVA 357 using a heat press. Research the individual wood that you’re planning on using. 4. Hi Kaustav, thanks for commenting! Let us know how you like it! I like to use a lot of very small sable brushes. The fabric used for canvas is oftencotton or linen, but can also be jute or polyester. That’s great! Thank You for posting. This is the cheapest and easiest and quickest solution for hard panels I have found. It has a coating on it so it not the same as the panels from Jackson’s. Yes, you can do oil painting on wood, but there’s more to it than just slapping a brush against a 2×4. So I do spend time asking my fellow artists about their materials, read technical forums about the longevity of a primer or the difference between types of canvas. Glue chalk gesso is good for oil paintings because it will absorb some of the oil from the base layers, helping the painting to dry faster. It also provides a good surface texture for receiving the paint. I’ve been working using oils on small 10 x 8 ins pieces from Jacksons Art Supplies. As the name suggests, oil primers are meant for oil painting only. Preparing wood for painting and maintaining transparency. I am talking 2m x 3m canvas. Rigid surfaces like alumium or wood therefore are much preferred if longevity is important to you. This creates a thin barrier between the paint and the wood, which will prevent damage and the wear and tear of time. For a long time people thought that linen is of a better quality and longer lasting than cotton, but most artists would now agree that this is not true. Hi Carol, that’s great, go for it. The absorbency is medium and I have only recently discovered this wonderful material. The word canvas usually refers to primed fabric, stretched onto stretcher bars. I must admit I have never tried it. I also prefer a non-absorbent canvas (or the lowest absorbency I can find). After reading this post, I’m tempted to try Jackson’s aluminium panels, for which you provided a link. If wood is not sized or sealed properly before applying the gesso, yellowing can occur because water [a solvent] can cause acids, occurring naturally in wood, to migrate to the surface. I would imagine that a decent plastic support would be pretty archival and hardwearing but it is not a very common support, hence the lack of info online. Thanks again! The gesso boards by Belle Arti (aff. Some artists like the immediate staining of their canvas, others like to move things around a bit more. So, it all depends on what you are going to do with the paintings. They are wood panels so you can sand them more if you wish but I find the oils grip the wood … Thanks for the suggestions! Do let me know if you can add anything to the list, if you have experience with a particular support or just want to add some pleasant comment. How do they perform? It is therefore harder to stretch and if the stretcher or the linen expands or shrinks a tiny bit, the linen will sag or wave and will need re-tightening. If the panels are larger over 16″, I will seal both sides of the wood, to keep it from warping. You might well find you like your own the best! I have never worked with shellac but for anyone wondering I found this hopefully helpful link: Good luck with trying alternatives. __CONFIG_group_edit__{"jumbzp5n":{"name":"All Column(s)","singular":"-- Column %s"}}__CONFIG_group_edit__, __CONFIG_local_colors__{"colors":{"b3390":"Border","2248f":"Button "},"gradients":{}}__CONFIG_local_colors__, {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}. Not sure about a float frame for aluminium. I’ve been searching the net and FB groups such Traditional oil paintung/Best painting practices etc., but am still a bit confused as people seem to say you should not paint directly on aluminium. If I understand correctly, you need to prime Dibond panels or any other ACM panels. Art for Kids: Are Acrylic Paints Safe for Your Children? I can take a sheet of canvapaper and mount it to hardboard or plywood with double sided tape in a jiffy, and can be off painting without the normal time it takes to make a linen panel. I have found that different brands use different materials and the absorbency varies enormously! Rot occurs when moisture is trapped and turns into mold, mildew, or when mold and mildew dry out and turn into dry rot. Hi Sophie This article is great! It won’t cost you a penny extra. Use two layers of gesso to ensure the liquid in oil paint doesn’t seep in and rot the wood. The latest kid on the block in the world of oil painting supports is aluminium (aff. Common sense tells us that this goes withouth saying: an oil painting on stretched canvas will undoubtedly move somewhat, either by the slight bounce that a stretched fabric gives, or else by the potential expanding and shrinking of the materials in various circumstances. What should a beginner use? 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