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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Thanked 5 Times in 4 Posts

    Help? clear smooth base to paint on

    Hi, I'm not sure if it is correct to post a new thread in this forum for simply questions so forgive me.

    I've been working on some very experimental ways of using oils and the mediums that go with it. My current technique is to evenly coat a lot of wooden panel with a ton of opaque acrylic gesso then re-wet it and sand it down until it is smooth as glass, which isn't really new. However, I recently tried painting on transparency sheets (ala Chris Berens) for fun and found when I coated the sheets in Artist's Oil Varnish it evenly layed itself out and provided, once dried, a very smooth surface while retaining a tiny bit of stickyness which is great for painting on. Once the drawing process is finished with my current wooden panel I would like to coat it in about a 1/10th centimeter coat of this varnish. However I recently discovered that varnish is only meant to be temporary and is very easily dissolved by mineral spirits, so I can't paint on that.

    So, is there any substance that dries as a plasticky, completely clear coat like Oil gloss varnish but can be used as a permanent base to be oil painted on? I was thinking about clear acrylic gesso but I don't know how clear it really is especially since I will be using a fairly thick coat.
    Thank you soooo much to anyone who would like to help!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Thanked 177 Times in 139 Posts
    Shellac,. It is a natural resin like varnishes and it is also easily resoluble- BUT it's solvent is denatured alcohol, and not mineral spirits. If you're going to use it I would mix in a little linseed oil because it dries QUICK. Almost as quickly as acrylic paint.
    "A drawing is not necessarily academic because it is thorough, but only because it is dead. Neither is a drawing necessarily academic because it is done in what is called a conventional style, any more than it is good because it is done in an unconventional style. The test is whether it has life and conveys genuine feeling."- Harold Speed

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Thanked 20 Times in 18 Posts
    MDF board or Medium Density Fiberboard is my favorite to work on with oils.

    it's cheap and after lightly sanding it and applying gesso can make a nice smooth surface.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Thanked 5 Times in 4 Posts
    The Pariano- That sounds perfect, I'll also try the clear gesso though I doubt its clear enough for what I want

    Msegal- Thanks, I'll def check it out

    Thank you sooo much!

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