After after a lot of thought on this current painting I decided on starting over again. But this time I’m putting much more care into the preparation of my canvas.
You can never underestimate a good painting surface. What a “good” painting surface is like is subjective. But, after the first attempt at this painting I’m reminded of how important getting the surface correct is.
Currently I’m painting on gessoed paper. The paper I’m using is 140 pound and over acid free smooth paper. A hot press watercolor paper works really well. I’ve also used a BFK, or Strathmore 500. All works well as long as it is acid free and smooth.
Applying the gesso is where my problems originated. This is the first time I’ve painted this large so I’m guessing that had something to do with the issue. When I apply gesso on this paper I brush it on first then I use a speedball printing roller to smooth out the gesso into a thin layer. This gets rid of the large ridges left by the brush applying the gesso and provides a very canvas like texture. But, with the size of this work the gesso was drying fast and while I was rolling it the drying gesso was creating a much more rough and sand paper like texture. Needless to say, painting on sandpaper kinda sucks.
I was thinking if I got several coats of oil paint on it that I would fill in the cracks and smooth out the texture. I guess I paint too thin because it wasn’t working. I’m still thinking that I may go back to the original start of this painting, maybe.
Considering I’m starting over I’m taking this opportunity to think hard about the planes of the form. I’m even going so far as to draw the planes and all their transitions. I want to have a deep visual understand of how the form moves and this may be a good way of training my brain to see it.