Saturday, December 3, 2011

How to Reuse Oil Painting Panels or Canvases

Those experimental or failed oil sketches just seem to stack up. And while we rejoice in them and understand that they are stepping stones to where we want to be artistically...

Seems a shame to throw them out BUT we really must get rid of them ourselves because our grandchildren won't be able part with them. Who knows they might end up in a museum years from now, yikes!

I reuse them, who knows, the next sketch might be successful?

First, I hand sanded the panels (consider wearing a mask), then applied Gamblin Oil Painting Ground with a window squeegee. If the oil ground is too thick you can thin it with a few drops of OMS. This resulted in an almost slick surface.

I recently read about rolling the still wet surface with a white, house painting roller that has a low nap to get a slight texture. I will try that next time just to experiment.

A word of caution, I've been asked by students if they can simply use acrylic gesso to paint over their old oil paintings. The answer is no, gesso is water base which should never be used over oil based paint. It might seem like it's sticking but could eventually peel off and of course that will be on the very panel you've done your Mona Lisa on.

Here are a few alla prima sketches and plein air paintings that survived the cut...for now. 

Here's a link to a video of painter and Gamblin technical support representative Scott Gellatly, demonstrating applying their oil ground product to panels and canvases.

Have you found a great way to resurface your little stepping stone oil sketches? I'd love to hear your solutions.

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