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  • Got Wood?...Experimenting with Birch Panels!

    I was eager to get started on my FosterMAK painting for Elevation Gallery’s One White Wall Project and needed to find a 12”x 12” gallery canvas to get started. Inglewood Art Supplies was sold out of their stretched canvasses in that particular size, so I picked out a different style of support: Birch Panels!

    Panels are new to me. Unlike stretched canvas, they have a rigid, unforgiving surface. If I was working with inks or transparent mediums, I would be able to see the grain of the wood beneath my painting (very cool). Given that I use a decent amount of water in my normal painting process, I was concerned about the wood warping…

    The solution: a few coats of Gesso primer (I only have white gesso, but it is also commonly available in clear or black)! The primer would eliminate the wood grain from showing through, but it would seal the panel from any moisture-related issues. The edges were not sanded down well, so eliminating the splintery bits was an additional step. Once I did that, it was “smooth sailing” ;)

    Surprisingly, panels are more affordable than I imagined they would be: $11.26 each, versus $11.76 for a canvas of the same size. Inglewood art supplies is a great place to shop because they give 20% discounts with every bundle you purchase (3 or 6 per bundle, depending on the size of your support)…taking advantage of this everyday discount is a dangerous game to play if your studio has limited space!  (*ahem*)  

    Time to add some texture to these flat surfaces and infuse it with some COLOUR!

    I’m curious to see how this project goes, and if wood panels will become part of my regular inventory. Panels may be preferable to large stretched canvasses (by large I mean >3ftx3ft), because their rigidity won’t lead to sagging. When working on canvas, I have to be careful that I don’t inundate the painting with too much water or fluid acrylics…the heavy load causes stretching, and the fluids can pool in the middle and create unwanted visual effects.

    Cheers to trying something new!