This week has brought a revelation! Those are always good.
I've been flirting with the idea of painting on linen lately, but the price has put me off every time I research it. So I did the next best thing and bought some oil primer to apply over my usual cotton canvases. The canvases have to be gessoed first to stop the oil primer from destroying the fibers. I know: I should be using rabbit skin glue instead of gesso, but I'm not there yet. Talk to me in 6 months and I'll likely be using bunnies.
I spread the thick, heavy stuff on and then I twiddled my thumbs for a week while the canvases cured. Finally, I began to paint. It was amazing!
The experience is nothing like using a commercial canvas. The paint keeps its separate strokes more easily instead of melding marks together as happens on gesso, and the paint sets up much more quickly than I am used to. Using just oil as a medium, the paint was almost dry the next day. That's at least a day or two sooner than on gesso.
But the best thing - saved to last, as all best things are - is the colour. I've never seen the paints look so luminous. When I brought it in from the studio, my son thought it was painted on copper because it had that inner glow that copper paintings have.
I'm still experimenting with application of the primer because the first effort was too thickly applied and created a very slippery surface, but I'm loving it!