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Canvas Surface

Check out these photos of Young Sung Kim’s paintings.
Notice how there seems to be none of the little bits of reflection off the textured surface of his paintings.  And even when I zoom in I don’t see the canvas texture.
Could the medium he is using to coat his paintings be something other than varnish?

Look at this video at about 2:45 and you will see him pour the varnish or clear liquid on the final painting.  Also notice how he is leaning his hand in the previously painted surface.  He’s not painting alla prima.

Ok so as you can see I am fascinated by his artwork.  
[Deleted User]


  • I think it is a 2-part resin an not varnish.
  • In preparing a canvas, you can remove the texture by repeated coats of ground, and sanding in between until you have a smooth surface.  It takes time, patience and some hard work.
  • You can see the canvas weave clearly in the video at some points. 1.27 i think.

    The photos on the saatchi art page are too low-res to see it, and the paintings are very big so that's why. Looks like it's probably just fine-weave cotton or linen generic pre-primed.
  • Thanks @CJD. Yes I can see the weave in the video.  I read somewhere that he used cotton canvas.
    There’s a high end gallery in my area that I love to visit.  I’ve talked to the owner before at some openings but have not shown him my work.  He shows a lot of large paintings that are even larger than Kim’s.  
    I’d love to be able to show paintings there but I’m afraid my work is not big enough and maybe a bit staid for that gallery.
  • CJDCJD -
    edited July 2020
    Yeah it does seem like lots of galleries mostly carry large pieces that sell for higher prices. The big ones also grab peoples' attention as they walk by or look in the windows from a distance. Of course there are also galleries that sell small paintings too and lots of artists make a living off selling small works.

    Even having a few really great paintings is enough to email to galleries to see if they're interested though. Some gallery websites actually say artists should email 2-4 images only.

    Eventually I'll make my best 3 or 4 paintings and try to get into a gallery. My best ones always go into art shows and sell though so I never seem to have enough on-hand. Finding a gallery that consistently sells your paintings would be nice.

    I wonder how the artist you linked to got such a big name. I remember seeing one of his fish paintings a couple years ago it seemed to go viral online. I don't really get it though. I guess most people who can't paint realism are more impressed by large-scale photographic copies than I am.
  • @CJD the gallery represents Jorge Santos and Larrisa Morais who paint what is called Neo Realism.  Whereas I guess I would describe what Ive been doing as classical realism.

    Right now I’m doing pretty much what your doing, entering shows.   I hope that after getting into shows a gallery might be interested. 

    The hyper realism is very interesting.  But I do believe there is something to be learned from that.  Your right about large scale paintings they grab your attention from a distance.
  • Very interesting.  Typical Confucian modesty with his very light and somewhat hidden signature. 
  • How long after piling out a painting do you let it dry before varnishing?  Also when you oil it out do you thin your oil with any solvent?
  • Well I revarnished one of the paintings that got accepted.  I have to deliver it later this week and I want happy with the varnish.  It had some lint or something in the bottom area that bugged me.   
    I’ve never removed varnish and revarnished before so I was a bit hesitant.  
    I removed it using gamsol and cue tips working small one by one inch areas And wiping it with cheese cloth since cheese cloth doesn’t have any lint fibers.
    It was interesting to do and I’m not afraid of revarnishing any more.
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