So far I have been practicing on canvas paper as I didn’t want to get stuck with many useless practice canvases . Plus the cheaper ones are kind of crappy 😬.
I think I am ready for moving in to something else . What panel would you recommend ? 
I know to get gessoed ones. 
What would be a good quality panel ( or mounted on wood panel ) for this ? 
I got suggested to try ampersand but there are so many kinds .


  • edited October 2021
    My favourite are Belle Arti multi ply poplar wood gesso panels.

    I am in UK and buy them form Jacksons art, so depending where you are it may or may not be worth it.

    Smooth as an eggshell.

    I sometimes have used ampersand too.

    I am not too keen on working with a canvas weave (though I am doing work on one at the moment)

    I guess its about exploring and finding what you like to work with.

    There are some members here who like the aluminium panels as it is, apparently, going to outlast most other surfaces.

  • @MichaelD
    Thank you , I will check them out. 
    Some panels are so gritty , if that’s the right word , and I don’t feel like doing layers of gesso . 😁
  • edited October 2021
    I love using either Ampersand's Gessoboard or Speedball's Gessoboard (its the one with the Mona Lisa on it) they're a bit cheaper than Ampersand, but maybe even better.
    I also like to buy the Richeson Masonite panels and gesso them myself. They are super cheap, but there has been speculation about the archivalness of them (I use them anyway)
    I use Utrecht gesso, but make sure you apply THIN layers and do like 4-5. It makes the surface much smoother.
  • edited October 2021
    I also like to buy the Richeson Masonite panels and gesso them myself. They are super cheap, but there has been speculation about the archivalness of them (I use them anyway)
    I use Utrecht gesso, but make sure you apply THIN layers and do like 4-5. It makes the surface much smoother.
    Excuse the long technical post - I'm just bouncing off your post Tina in general conversation with anyone because I'm a bit of a geek on this stuff. I'm sure what you do is fine. 
    For conservation purposes
    • Masonite: For masonite, the tempered masonite is better for conservation because it's more water resistant. The untempered is ok, but you should seal/size it before the gesso. I understand Utrecht does both - but for painting in oils I see they do recommend sizing (
    • Sizing: All timber should be sealed on all sides (both sides and edges) before priming. Without the seal it risks Support Induced Discolouration (SID) where the water or oil can leach out organic comoounds into the painting, such as tannins. It also prevents sinking in where oil leaches down into the support creating dry patches in your painting. Water or oil seeping into the panel is also not so good for the panel. Best sizes in my research were acrylic (eg, Golden GAC Gloss Medium) or pH neutral PVA size (eg, Gamblin PVA size - not just PVA glue from the corner store.) Others recommended are rabbit skin glue (but it's hygroscopic) shellac or polyurethane ("shellac and polyurethane are less than ideal materials in terms of reversibility, brittleness and aging characteristics.") I'm sure there are others, but they are the two I found best evidence for. GAC and PVA are water dispersed so keep coats thin and be careful on exposed edges of masonite to avoid swelling. The films once cured are not significantly hygroscopic.
    • Grounds/priming: Then the primer/gesso. I used Gamblin PVA for size and Gamblin Ground for my primer on latest painting.
    MITRA is a university based site for resources on best conservation practices.

    Simple, unproven, but looks sound:
    Simplicity: I used to use Rustoleum Primer 2x - 2 coats in white or grey, seals and primes, paint within hours. Brilliant. But as I started researching I found it contained zinc - and zinc is NOT stable - you don't want it in your painting anywhere. It's less than 1% and their technical department said it shouldn't cause the 'saponification' reaction. But they recommended this as better -
    Zinsser Cover Stain - Their technical department said this was their best product for stability - no zinc. Contains: VT Styrenated Modified Alkyd (alkyd is the same oil as Gamblin Ground), calcium carbonate magnesium silicate titanium dioxide and hydrocarbons as solvents. I didn't use this for my last painting because it has no long-term research and cannot be considered archival best practice but I may use it in future.

  • @tinafigartist
    i Will get some of the speedball gessoboard ones. Excited to try something else .
    Thank you so much
  • @Abstraction

    Wow, that reply , i screenshotted it and will keep . Very good to know . Thank you for sharing all the information after your research. I really Appreciate it.
    This is great and will help others too !
  • Annie:  To save money, I use cardboard (yup, dumpster diving).  It's free, so the price is right.  I can cut it to the size I need.  I usually make my cardboard practice work small.  The thing with cardboard is that you don't have to worry about ruining a piece of usable stuff.  You can pitch it when finished, and if you accidentally paint a masterpiece for the ages, you can leave it for historians and major galleries to deal with.  I remember being scolded by the Denver gallery folk for getting too close to a Degas.  It was a piece of experimental work he did on cheap paper.  After he died, they decided it was a masterpiece.  So now they trot it off to shows in galleries where they scold you if you stand too close to it.
  • @broker12

    I did not think of that. So far I have painted on paper for oils to save space and not waste .. but cardboard would be the ultimate saver 

    Your story made me think of a short , written by Roald Dahl about an artist using skin as surface ( tattoo). 😁.

    Thanks so much 
  • Annie . . . you may find this short video by Cesar Santos very interesting . . . he paints in oil in his sketchbooks: 

  • Yes I followed this advise in this video from Cesar Santos and have a book I paint in.

    Its a great idea.

  • @broker12 @MichaelD

    Im checking it out ! Thank you very much .
  • MichaelDbroker12  - Yes, I have prepped oil paper this way for years and it works well. I don't have my sheets bound in a book, but separate. What a great video. I will have to watch more of Mr. Santos.
  • @broker12

    I just binge watched his videos 
    I love the color mixing ones too 
    Thanks for sharing 
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