Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Experiments with Grounds - 2

Today I decided to try a panel from Howard & Daniel Corp., the "Real Gesso" people. (See www.realgesso.com.) Unlike the panels I've made myself from traditional gesso, these are uniform, nice and smooth.

As part of my testing, I'm trying to keep the variables the same except for the surface. So, once again I headed out with my Gamblin oils, Galkyd and Gamsol with hog bristle flats. I again chose a water scene that was back-lit. As before, I didn't tone the panel, preferring to work on the white.

I found that the surface has a nice degree of absorbency. I was able to lay in a transparent underpainting without the brush digging through to the white gesso, and the underpainting stayed put. This is very important when painting wet-into-wet!

By the way, I'm developing an absorbency test and scale. I'll unveil it when I'm finished with my tests.

Here's the painting:

"Slack Tide, High Water"
9x12, oil/panel


Miki Willa said...

I really like the luminosity achieved with this painting. I think I can see a real difference between tis painting and the first one you posted in your ground experiment. In the first one, the brush strokes are much more in evidence. Is that the ground, the scene, or the photograph?

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

Thanks, Miki! The photos are pretty much spot-on, so you're looking at it the way it is. The traditional gesso really "grabs" the paint and allows me to build up the brush strokes.