Monday, April 28, 2008

Laying the Ground

I had to spend some time applying lead ground to a couple of canvases. I've been putting off this job for a while and I just couldn't get away from it any more. I wish I could use acrylic gesso and be done with it, but I don't trust it. I want my work to be done right and following the long tradition of painting and its materials seems like the right way to go about things.
Using lead white can be scary at times. I use it often in my painting and I'm careful while doing so, but it becomes a little more alarming when I work with large batches. The good thing is that I use lead white already suspended in oil so I don't have to worry about having the pigment's particles in the air. Kremer's lead white is a beautiful warm color, but way too oily. Unlike paint, the ground is supposed to be more stiff, and to decrease the high oil content of this mixture I add chalk. This also makes the ground more absorbable.

So far I was only able to prime two canvases, I still have about twelve more to go. Looks like I'll be doing this for a while!

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