Alternative Oil Painting Grounds?ApproveRejectUn-ApproveSubscribeUn-Unsubscribe
Question asked 2017-08-11 18:33:34 ...
Most recent comment 2017-08-13 14:09:17
Grounds / Priming
Health and Safety
Hello MITRA folks,
Do you know if there are any alternatives to rabbit skin-based, solvent-based and acrylic-based grounds for both canvas and panels? I have read that methylcellulose can be subsituted, and a reference to shellac, but have read nothing definitive and scientific. This would be for oil painting, and I am looking for a low VOC, solvent-free, easy-to-use solution that would also be archival (or a support for oil painting that needs no ground (and no solvents to clean it) at all.
Thanks so much for any thoughts!
Answers and Comments
It sounds like you might be asking about sizings as well as primings. PVA sizing is available as a ready-to-use preparation. For the ground, you might try an oil-based primer thinned lightly with solvent-free, walnut-based alkyd medium. Also, since you mention support materials that can be used with no in-studio prep, why not consider factory-primed canvas and panels?
By the way, in deference to Mr. Gottsegen who certainly would have pointed this out, and at the risk of sounding like a nit-picker, I want to mention that the term "archival" is often used when artists really mean "durable to the standards of permanent art". I know this doesn't help directly answer the question, but I'm pointing it out because writing here makes me miss Mark.
I guess one question is what is wrong with the materials you mentioned? What is the desire or need for an alternative? Knowing your motivation might help in selecting something. Is it just curiosity and novelty? Or a particular quality you are after? Also are you looking to paint on panel or canvas of some kind?
In terms of alternatives sizing methylcellulose can indeed be used as an alternative to rabbit skin glue and it is something I have done a couple of times, a long time ago, but beyond that personal experiment, and the fact that it is used as a size for paper, I do not know of scientific studies about its use on canvas. And as Matte mentions, PVA is also viable - though just as synthetic as acrylic, if for some reason that is an issue.
As for a substrates you can paint on directly, keep in mind that painting on a substrate always has the drawback that the future of the work becomes intimately bound to the future of the substrate itself. With no intervening ground what happens to the one happens to the other. That said, there is a history of painting directly on copper, and one can also paint wood with no primer, and there is also an Oil Paper made by Arches that can be painted on with no additional prep and has a nice feel.
Hope that helps.
What you are suggesting here may certainly work...keep in mind if you are dealing with a ground that you find too absorbent you could always try to rub a bit of the alkyd medium that you are using into the surface first thereby avoiding the need to apply additional priming layers.
This procedure and issues surrounding the practice are also mentioned here.
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