Is it okay to use commercial grade white pigmented shellac as a primer for oil and possibly acrylic paintings?
Also, what about plywood as a support? Is there one type, i.e. birch, that might be preferable. Finally, a question about painting over old paintings: Can I use white pigmented shellac for this? I paint in oil and use Liquin as a medium, so the finishes are of often kind of glossy.


  • Moved this to the General board to get some more exposure. Might need to merge the Supplies and General boards.
  • @markreynolds I have only heard of one painter that used shellac in their painting process, Norman Rockwell. In his book "How I Make a Picture" he details his painting process. After he completes his underpainting he seals it with a coat of shellac. It was not white pigmented shellac though and he doesn't mention whether it was commercial grade or not.

    I don't know anything about plywood so I can't comment.
  • @Kingston You won't get an argument from me. There are a lot of things in that book that I have never heard of before or since regarding any other artists techniques. He also draws on something called architects detailing paper. I've asked around and no one has ever heard of it.
  • @dencal The translucent paper that James Gurney describes is not architect's detail paper, certainly not what Norman Rockwell called architect's detail paper. Rockwell describes it as being "very strong and can take terrific punishment", dull yellow in color. If you have ever seen one of Rockwell's original charcoal drawings you can tell that the paper is fairly thick. That book "How I Make a Picture" was written in the mid 1950's and since that time many things could have happened. The names of products could have changed or the book could have been edited badly. Who knows? When I was a student and wanted to try this stuff out, after seeing one of Rockwell's drawings, people in art stores kept showing me the translucent tissue stuff and that's not the paper Rockwell used. Like I said, no one seems to know what Rockwell drew on. I have even asked the curator of the Norman Rockwell Museum and they don't know. I don't draw in charcoal any more and if I did I wouldn't use that kind of paper anyway so as far as I am concerned the matter is settled.
  • @Kingston Sure, anything could have happened. As bigger art companies have purchased smaller art companies their product lines have been consolidated and in some cases eliminated.
  • @Kingston Thanks, I'll check it out. I know Lou Brooks work very well. My favorite forgotten art supplies are probably my electric erasers, I had more than one, and my ultrasonic pen cleaners. Those were the days. Don't get me started on my old projectors.
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