Sunday, September 6, 2009

Experiments with Grounds - 6 & Ratings

"Harvest Moon"
9x12, oil/panel

Yesterday morning, I noticed the full moon setting over Friar's Head. The colors were beautiful and exciting - luminescent pink and blue-violet in the sky, pale blue-green in the water. Rather than return to the Duck Ponds, I decided I'd make my final test painting the setting moon.

Before dawn, I strapped on the backpack and hiked the path through the blackberry brambles and apple trees to our beach. I had just enough light to set up and start. By the time color got to be important in the piece, dawn came, and it was just as gorgeous as the morning before.

This is my last test for the time being. I painted this on an Ampersand Hardbord panel with two coats of Golden Gesso. I found it to be very comparable to my two coats of Blick Master Gesso, and maybe just a tad more absorbent.

I promised I'd give you my absorbency rating. I used a very simple test - I call it the "spit test." I literally wet a finger and touched it to the surface and observed how quickly the moisture vanished. After painting on the different surfaces, I'd say that the "spit test" is a good indicator of absorbency. The list is sorted with the least absorbent first.

(Least absorbent) 1 => 5 (Most absorbent)

Gamblin Oil Painting Ground 1
Blick Master Gesso (3 coats) 2
Ampersand Gessobord 3
W & N Oil Painting Primer 3
Blick Master Gesso (2 coats) 3
Golden Gesso (2 coats) 3
Realgesso 4
Gamblin Traditional Gesso 4
Ampersand Claybord 5


Daily Paintings said...

Beautiful piece...makes me wish I was up there!

Dalan said...

Thanks so much for running the experiment! I usually buy the ampersand boards pre-gessoed, but it is good to know what I may want to try out.
Big fan of the blog, Dalan