Before I start painting on any substrate, I prep it first. Take these mini 4x4s for example. The back of these panels come plastered with Dick Blick’s logo all over them. As much as I’d love to promote Dick Blick on every order I ship out, I think it’s more important to sign, date, and add my website info to the back of every painting. The logo needs to go.
I’ve tried gessoing over it, but the logo showed through. So, now I paint over the logo with black paint, like this..
It’s not ready for my signature until the backs get two coats of gesso. With all the drying time involved, this process took most of the day. Now it’s on to the front of the canvas..
I’ve written about my dislike for painting directly on canvas many times in the past. Same goes for canvas panels. I don’t like the texture of canvas. I don’t like how paintings look on canvas after the paint dries. My remedy is making a nice smooth surface to paint on by using either artist quality modeling or molding paste. I spread a layer on with my palette knife, and wait for it to dry. Yes, more time is spent waiting..
Once it’s dry, I wet sand the surface of the panel until it’s nice and smooth. Then, I cover the modeling paste with two coats of gesso. ::insert lots more waiting between coats here::
Once these are thoroughly dry, I can start thinking about what I’m going draw on each one, and then finally, I can begin to paint.
If you’re thinking this sounds like a long drawn out process, you’d be correct. It took me two full days to prep 24 panels. I’ll have more to say about all this next week. Stay tuned.
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