Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Art as a Science: Part 1

In my last post I stated that I had done some follow ups to my experimentation on linen canvas. This represents the first batch. I couldn't decide if it was the canvas, the medium, or the gesso that made working on that stretched linen canvas so pleasurable, so as any good O.C.D. patient would, I set about to systematically test each of the different variables.

For all four paintings are on linen canvas and I used galkyd as my medium. The only factor that was changed from painting to painting was the way that each sample was sealed: the first sample was sealed with clear gesso that was brushed on; the second was sealed with clear gesso that was scraped on; the third was sealed with two layers of white gesso and one layer of clear, all scraped on; and the last was sealed with three layers of white gesso, again scraped on. (I should probably go over what I mean when I say scraping on gesso in a later post.)

For my money, I think the third and fourth samples have the best surface, with the second coming in at a pretty close second. The first sample, with it's brushed on gesso, was a surface that proved to be far too rough and far to difficult to manage. It would probably be best when used with either thicker paint (perhaps an impasto) or a palette knife, as any level of detail is difficult to obtain.

Even though they're all small and quick studies that were used primarily as a tools test, I'm pretty satisfied with the results. I don't recommend using polaroids as reference, however. I'll post round two in the coming days.

All paintings: Oil on linen. 5" x 5".

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