Saturday, September 24, 2016

Painting on gesso board

Peaches 8 x 10

Because I don't have an expensive enough painting surface habit already (you can't beat ordering oil primed linen from the States with our weak Canadian dollar!), I bought a couple of small gesso boards the other day at $10 for a single 8 x 10".   But a painter has to experiment or get seriously bored with herself, so I happily paid.

I think I like them, with reservations.  The surface is very fast and smooth, so there's no linen texture to break up the mark.  That means any texture has to be carefully created, and, because it's so vulnerable to being knocked flat by the next mark: preserved.  I'm not sure this support is ideal for creating the texture and layers that I enjoy - at least not quickly.

The detail view of this little still life shows that texture and depth is possible, though.  I had a lot of fun manipulating the paint on the support, freely pushing and scraping it around without any friction to slow me down.  The background on the right of the peach was painted and then pulled back to near white with a silicone scraper, leaving a soft, thin application of colour where once the surface had looked heavy and unpleasant.

One thing I did enjoy was that it wasn't as hard a surface as a primed mdf or aluminum panel.  While I can't say exactly what is different - both are hard and smooth - I found the marks a bit more elegant and less one dimensional on gesso board.  But that could just be because I really spent time pushing them to make them interesting.

I'll do another little one on the second board, bearing in mind what this one taught me, and let you know how it goes.  With luck, I won't love it.  The price for larger gesso boards is laughable.

Happy painting!


Kay said...

Ingrid, I love gesso board for another reason. Dark transparent colors seem to just glow on the bright white surface. Just an amazing surface for painting en plein air. Easy scrapping and wiping out. Watch for a sale and stock up! Thanks for your wonderful blogs.

Ingrid Christensen said...

I'll watch for a sale, Kay! Thanks for the comment.

Happy painting!