The Art Inspector came to my studio recently to give me my new eco-friendly materials! This was a much anticipated day, and for me, the most intriquing part of the process. I was given a set of Grumbacher water soluble oil paints, powder pigments, linseed oil, Biosheild Citrus Thinner, and AFM Safecoat Base paint. For a surface, she provided locally milled wood and canvas.
The wood presented a bit of a challenge, which I adore. The sheet of plywood was far too heavy to work on, so I set about making a stretcher for the canvas. The bars were a bit narrow, and thus difficult to get the needed leverage to stretch the canvas, but I prevailed. The canvas was a long, narrow piece, a bit bigger than 2 x 5′. I made a stretched canvas as large as I could.
Gesso was not provided, but by mixing the white powder pigment with the eco-friendly base paint, I was able to make a nice surface on which to work. It didn’t seem to size as nicely as gesso does, nor did it have the same sort of firmness when dried. But, it received my first layer of paint quite nicely! The first coat is a wash, but much of this is left visible in the finished painting, and I was able to get the effects that I normally do using paint thinned with Turpenoid, using the citrus thinner the AI provided. That was a significant step for me towards making friends with these new mediums. The dry time for the water-based oils seemed comparable to my typical oils. I let the first layer sit over night, and went in the next day to add some thicker layers. The water-based paints have slightly different properties and don’t “do” thick quite as effectively as my usual paints.