Monday, February 17, 2014

Cradled Birch Painting Panel

An old favorite paint brush sits ready to gesso a birch panel.
I began a new journey with an old friend tonight by pulling out a favorite paint brush to get started working on my first cradled birch panel. I've painted on birch in the past and really enjoyed the surface, but the cradled panels sturdiness is an exciting new experience! The brush I used is from Baker's Secret and was actually intended for basting food, but I discovered that it held other secrets! I've been using it since it was new for water media so much that the handle has developed patina over the years. The bristles are similar to hog bristle but offer a smoother toothy texture in base coats.

 I began with the panel right from the package. Without sanding I brushed a thin smooth coat of acrylic gesso over the top and sides of the panel, following the wood grain. As much as I want to do this painting it was a tough choice to cover that lovely even birch grain! There are so very many things that could be done with these boards, and I'm looking forward to using pyrography in a future project! The gesso sucked into the raw wood and dried quickly. The second layer that I applied was lain thicker and with random brush strokes to create texture. Once that dried I pulled out a jar of old white acrylic paint. Being towards the bottom of the jar the paint has thickened to a tacky paste that, when applied, brushes further texture out onto the surface. When that dried I was left with a wonderful mildly slick bright surface begging to be marked... I WAS left with it, but that quickly changed as color found its way onto my brush and painting has now begun in earnest!

*Original art images ©Tree Pruitt T. E. Pruitt, unless otherwise indicated. Contact the artist prior to ANY use please.