Working on a wood panel

I’m taking one of my sketches and creating a painting from it.  In the past I would just jump right in on the canvas with an idea without sketching it first.  Now I’m taking my ideas, sketching them out in my sketchbook, then tackling the painting.  Its that extra step that procrastinating artsy types don’t like to do…. aka me.  Its an important part of the process I usually like to skip.  As I’m getting older I’m enjoying the process more and more, even though I still have that little dull pain in my chest that makes me not want to take those extra steps.  I’m hoping after this year that goes away.   If it doesn’t, maybe I should get an EKG, haha.

So today I’m sketching out a painting idea of mine.  But I’m using a wood panel that I bought from blick.  Its an 18 X 24 so its a good size.  I really like it so far, mostly because of the rigidity of the wood itself.  Its also 7/8 of an inch deep, just like a stretched canvas, which I also really like.   My pencil doesn’t indent the surface, and I can lean on it with my arm without worrying about damaging it.  So that means I can lay it flat.  Which is my preferred way to draw.  I like to paint with the canvas up, but draw with the pad flat for some reason.  The wood is pre-primed with titanium gesso.  So once I get this sketch done I’ll spray it with fixitive and then start adding in paint.

Too cold and windy to take a deck photo today. This will have to do. 1/2/2016
Too cold and windy to take a deck photo today. This will have to do. 1/2/2016

I still haven’t decided if I’ll tackle this one with oils or acrylics yet.  I’m having a hard time choosing, mostly because I don’t think it matters.  The end result should look quite similar either way. The big question to me is how quickly I want to work on it.  If I want to crank it out in a couple days then I’ll go with acrylics.  Even though I could still get it done in a few days with oils I prefer to work fast with acrylics.  I’ve got the fast working routine down with acrylics, and not quite as much with oils.  I like to take more time with oils because I can be pickier with my blending. With acrylics I’d just layer the &$&@* out of it.

I’ll get more into the meaning behind this painting as it progresses.  So far, as it pertains to sketching, I love the wood panel.  We will see what happens once paint starts going on it.  Stay tuned for that.

Stay warm everyone.  Winter is definitely here.

13 thoughts on “Working on a wood panel

  1. I want to thank you for doing this blog. As I am reading your thoughts it is making me look at myself and what makes me tick. I once use to sew (just for myself and loved ones) and whenever I did, was always in a hurry for the end result. Making garments there is a step one should take and that is basting it all together before the final stitching. I used to skip this step and in doing so the pj’s I made for my father lol were falling apart by morning! Well as I am new to painting I have found I am repeating this bad habit and wanting to see the end result I rush and don’t always dry one layer before the next and end up with mud. I can only imagine taking the time to sketch the idea first would be a hard habit to get into, although a very good idea. Good luck and love to see how they turn out!


  2. It’s always refreshing to hear someone else’s process. As was mentioned by Wendy, it makes me look at how I go about my art. I have no system but recently realized that I may need to work on a method before “jumping” into a painting. Taking to pencil and pad before starting a painting seems like a great idea. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and methods.


    1. You don’t have to, but the graphite will smudge around a little bit when your painting if you don’t. The lines will get covered up so its not a huge deal, but if you don’t want the lines to smudge I’d use a fixative.


  3. Excellent information. Straightening up my studio today I pulled out a wood panel. You gave me some ideas that will help starting up. Thank you!


  4. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. Painters of your skill level are like rock stars to me and it’s a real treat to get a peak into your process and your self. I am really looking forward to following your journey.


  5. I was once advised to scketch out your painting for scale to your painting area, lights and shadows, composition, details and a bunch of other stuff you may not think about before you start slapping on the paint. I sometimes do more than one sketch with variations of the same idea as I’m thinking through my ideas.


    1. I think the sketching helps a lot. It also depends on what you’re painting. For me, sometimes I need the sketch in more controlled settings, and if I want the painting to look more flowy and loose I lose the sketch.


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