Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Gesso Board

I've just realised that I haven't posted for a while so here is what I have been up too.

I had the lovely month of August free to work on my own paintings before I launched back into teaching my art classes in September. The classes are now well on their way with my students undertaking various projects suited for the mediums of Graphite, Watercolour and Acrylic.

The last time I posted, I was trying various techniques in oil paint on some of the canvas panels I purchased. With plenty of practice I've realised that these boards are not really suitable for the effect I'm trying to achieve as they are so absorbent I can never achieve the brush strokes I want! What looks good whilst the paint is wet just disappears on drying and renders all my brush strokes pretty much the same!
I'm therefore trying a couple of different surfaces which are far less absorbent and allow me to have a greater variety of brush strokes showing. It's early days yet but I think both surfaces are definitely the way to proceed, the cotton canvas boards have been shelved for now!

The following couple of paintings in progress are on the Ampersand gesso boards that I picked up on my last visit to the US. They have a lovely smooth finish, take a firmer brush stroke and a wash equally well, all the things that I'm a wanting for my technique.

The first picture has an imprimatura in transparent oxide brown on a reasonably cool mid tone wash as the painting is meant to be in a cool light. I've then suggested the relative temperatures, hues and values in thin paint diluted with a little sansador over the entire composition. The next stage is to then start putting more detail in a final layer. 

The following painting is also on the gesso board but I decided after doing the imprimatura the  same way as the first to try taking small areas to completion rather than a loose block in of the entire thing as in the first painting. I might also add a little oil to the first layer rather than just using sansador, I think this will give just a little more richness to the colour.

I will carry on with both these paintings to see which way I prefer working but at the moment I can say for definite that the gesso board has made a huge difference!

I've also just received a shipment of Claessens linen canvas panels which I am dying to have a go of, I will let you know how I get on with those next time around!

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