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Painting Grounds

Truly, the foundation of a painting are established by your surface and your ground. Surfaces vary – I’ve painted on paper, canvas, cardboard, panel, wood, old boxes – all sorts of things. But Grounds are products used to prepare a surface prior to painting. Effective grounds have the following characteristics:

· They should have good adhesion to the painting surface, particularly for canvas boards

· They should be flexible

· They should have suitable “tooth” for overpainting

· They should create a good sealing barrier between the painting surface and subsequent layers of paint

So what can you use as a ground? There are 3 items we recommend.

Binder Medium is an acrylic emulsion and acts as a sealer to prepare porous surfaces like paper or wood before using gesso. It also provides a somewhat “slippery” ground preparation in its own right. It is milky but dries transparent with a bit of sheen. I apply a few coats with my brush, letting it dry in between coats. As a ground, the Binder will remain sticky for a while, and is a very nice surface to paint on. I find it useful to apply a coat on top of pre-primed canvases so I know exactly what I’m painting on.

Gesso Primer is a flexible acrylic ground with a high grit content, designed to provide a stable white surface on which to paint. Gesso Primer may be used directly from the container for all over thick textural effects. I use Gesso whenever I stretch my own canvases and apply it with a brush. Sometimes I leave the crosshatching for a textured surface, sometimes I will sand in between coats for a smoother surface.

Liquid Gesso Primer has a thinner consistency, which spreads more easily for a smoother painting surface. I like to use Liquid Gesso on paper, like when I’m preparing pages for an altered book, on MDF board and on canvas too. When I have a large surface, I’ll sometimes use a squeegee to cover the area smoothly and quickly!

Any of these products can be used for both acrylic and oil paintings. So before you create your next masterpiece with Atelier Interactive or Archival Oils, consider your ground – the foundation of a great painting.

<b>To watch a video on how to apply these products on YouTube, click here.</b>