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  1. #14
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    Yep, paper or board is ideal for painting small (especially if you're painting REALLY small... I once did a bunch of paintings smaller than three inches on a side, can't easily do that with canvas.) (Should do that again, those were fun.)

    It's also ideal for student work - we used it in our beginning oil class in college because it was cheap and fast and easy to get rid of when we inevitably threw out most of our terrible beginner attempts. (Takes up less space than canvas, too. This is an advantage if you're living in a dorm.)

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  4. #15
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    If you only want paper and not canvas/linen, I don't know if your paintings will hold up very well over time. When I was doing lots of oil studies I was using paper just a bit thicker than newsprint, taped onto a drawing board and gessoed and then sanded down until I got my paper somewhat smooth. While it makes for great studies, it also won't be archival quality work. From an art student's perspective, it's easy to store, and going to paper was great for me since I was too cheap for canvas & bars, and stretching canvas every day was a pain (it hurts!).

    Honestly, your best bet is probably somewhere along the lines of unstretched, preprimed canvas/linen. If you live in a big city, most art stores have the rolls set up and you can see how fine the weave is yourself.

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  6. #16
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    I've really been wanting to try that Arches oil paper. I really like painting on paper and this stuff sounds perfect!

    http://www.dickblick.com/products/arches-oil-paper/

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  7. #17
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    To be fair, and to put things in "archival" perspective, stretched canvas is an inherently unstable support. We just accept it out of convenience and tradition. If you want your pictures to last, the most important thing is to make pictures that people will care about, and want to take care of.


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  9. #18
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    Hi Scale! Adriaen Coorte was a 17th century painter who liked use oils on paper mounted on board and his works survive in very good shape.

    Michael Pope's book on oil painting - material and technique (I only have the title in Swedish so that's a rough translation, sorry!) goes into detail about preparing paper and canvas for board and what glue you should use etc if you want to use oil mediums on it. The book is so old I'm sure you'll find it online somewhere, but otherwise I can try my best to translate it into English here if someone wants

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  11. #19
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    I simply coat standard watercolor paper with one or two layers of (mostly beige-brown) acrylic paint. It's similar to a primer of acrylic medium, just with the extra bonus of getting a nice colored tone to start with.

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  12. #20
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    I will make a bet for anyone who is still alive in 500 years. I will prepare hi-quality wc paper with acrylic gesso and you can prepare it any other way that you'd like and mine will be better when our bet comes around. It's like putting a plastic bottle around it. It certainly will last as long as the oil paint you put on it.

    If you win the bet you can take one of my paintings at that time. It will be worth millions or twelve dollars in today's currency.

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  14. #21
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    I believe it, Bill! I have usually just slapped some acrylic paint on bristol board and then painted over that. Some are 4+ years old and there's not even the slightest hint of yellowing on the backside of the paper.

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  15. #22
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    Pff, I've got some paintings on acrylic-primed Bristol board that must be well over a decade or two old now, they haven't changed a bit...

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  16. #23
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    Not entirely off-topic, I hope, but I have some old crappy oil paintings that I'd like to do a new painting on. Can I just use acrylic gesso straight onto the old painting, or will the oils fight with the gesso and the gesso just flake off?

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  17. #24
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    Alesoun, acrylic over oil just sounds like trouble so I wouldn't suggest it.

    I'd probably take todays oil palette leftovers, drybrush them over the old canvas then work on that.

    You don't have to completely obliterate the old paint if you don't want to and it can make for some nice texture effects. I'm assuming the old canvas is not inch thick impasto btw..

    Disclaimer - results may not last 300 years.

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  19. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by alesoun View Post
    Not entirely off-topic, I hope, but I have some old crappy oil paintings that I'd like to do a new painting on. Can I just use acrylic gesso straight onto the old painting, or will the oils fight with the gesso and the gesso just flake off?
    Acrylic over oils is not gonna work... However you could sand down the original (if it's got texture,) and maybe do an oil ground/under painting over that. Should be archival enough, lots of old paintings were painted over other old paintings and it doesn't seem to have done them any harm.

    If you really want, I suppose you could try to sand off most of the oil and then scrub the rest off with paint thinner and then put a new coat of gesso on... I did that once. Don't really recommend it, though, it's more work than it's worth and probably weakens the canvas anyway from all the sanding and scrubbing...

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  21. #26
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    Thanks, guys. I didn't really think acrylic over oils was a great idea, but it was worth checking out. Luckily, I have a good supply of titanium white. I guess that will do...

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