Alkyd oils on board

I’ve worked in oils and acrylics, and I still do watercolors on occassion, but I seem to have settled on using alkyds on my larger pieces these days.  Alkyds are essentally like oil paints with an alkyd resin base.  I find Alkyds perfect in that they dry quicker than oils and slower than acrylics.  Also, unlike acrylics, the color doesn’t change as it dries.  I always found trying to match a wet acrylic color to a dry one exasperating.

As for my “canvas”, I still use a stretched canvas on occassion, but I’m tending to do more painting on luan-type boards lately.  One advantage of the boards is that I can easily make them any size I want by running them through my table saw, so when I have a vintage frame I can easily make a board to fit.   Another thing I like is I can make the surface texture as rough or as smooth as I want when I apply the gesso.  Either I brush it on thick in intersecting strokes or I coat it and then sand it down as smooth as I want.

Ultimately, I’m looking for materials and tools that allow me to concentrate on the image I’m creating, without giving me the sense that I’m wrestling with them.  Alkyds on boards are as close as I’ve gotten to that ideal.

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