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MITRA Forum Question Details

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  • Sizing optionsApproveRejectUn-ApproveSubscribeUn-Unsubscribe
    Question asked 2017-08-16 23:05:01 ... Most recent comment 2017-08-17 17:46:37
    Sizes and Adhesives Grounds / Priming Oil Paint

    ​Wondering about a couple different sizing options
    1. Gac 400 then two coats of Gac 100 then Rublev lead oil ground
    2. 2 layers of Gac 100 then Rublev oil ground

    How much of a difference will there be? Will the only difference really be in the canvas stiffness (with 1. being a stiffer canvas and 2. being more flexible)?

    Will there be any difference in how the oil paint sits on the surface?
    (For example) I do not like slick surfaces to paint on. I would like a semi absorbant surface. If I go with option 1, will the surface be too slick? Or will the overall surface be pretty much the same between the two?

    Thank you so much for any help!!

Answers and Comments

  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    Having not tried the Rublev ground I can't speak to its performance, but just in general, the sizing shouldn't significantly alter the absorbency of an oil ground. If the support is correctly isolated, it should not wick away so much of the primer vehicle as to alter its standard characteristics. ​Regarding which sizing approach to use: imparting stiffness is an important function of the sizing, because it helps stretched fabric maintain a flat plane, which in turn reduces stress on the ground and paint, so the addition of GAC 400 sounds like a good plan.

    Matthew Kinsey, Utrecht Art Supplies
    2017-08-17 10:46:38
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser Comment

    ​This seems like a good time to clarify my confusion: would you explain each of these terms and their functions: Size -- Ground -- Primer? It seems there is often some overlap in language when I see them used in other places... Thanks so much!

    2017-08-17 11:56:48
  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    A size is an application of a material used to cut and even out the absorbency of a support. This concept can also be applied to the application of a non-pigmented material used to cut the absorbency of a ground. A size should partially fill in the minute cavities of the support or ground but not be a continuous discrete layer. This could make the surface too non-absorbent and could promote delamination.

    A ground is a covering layer which generally contains some sort of filler and tends to be opaque. This should have the optimal degree of absorbency for the proposed paint medium. A ground can be smooth or textured. Generally, the smoother the ground the more absorbent it need to be to promote good adhesion.

    The definition of a primer is a little more ambiguous. The more precise use of the term is the application of an oil-containing pigmented layer to an aqueous ground layer to cut absorbency, often lock in the underdrawing, and sometimes provide a uniform color other than white. This is often called an imprimatura, although many commentators would only use that term for such a layer in Italian paintings. Despite my opinion on the matter, the words ground and primer are used interchangeably today.  Don’t get me started on the misuse of the term “gesso” ;)

    Brian Baade
    2017-08-17 16:03:10
  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    In the art materials industry, the term "priming" means a transitional layer which makes a substrate receptive to paint. The primer adheres durably to the support (usually better than paint alone), hides the support material, and creates a uniform surface with optimal properties for paint adhesion.

    Matthew Kinsey, Utrecht Art Supplies
    2017-08-17 17:20:55
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser Comment

    Thank you for the clarification, Brian and Matthew...very helpful!  Best, Susan

    2017-08-17 17:46:37

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