Bob's ART du Jour

Hi, I'm Bob Eggleton and this is my painting and "life in general blog" but mostly paintings. Usually they're for sale. Anyway, if you like something contact me at and ENJOY!!

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Location: New England, United States

I am a Hugo award-winning fantasy/SF artist who works on both publishing projects and film concept work(such as Jimmy Neutron and most recently, The Ant Bully) but I have a passion for landscape work, small paintings and exploring the properties of paint. This blog will mostly showcase my "painting-for-the-day" as kind of a personal voyage. I'll also be inserting sketches,photos and ideas of projects I am working on, that I can, when I can, so look for those every so often(usually as paint is drying!)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

ART DIGRESSION: Surfaces to paint on

I'm often asked, what surfaces do I like to paint on? With oils, the answer is simple: stretched canvas. Usually cotton duck as it's a nice surface that can be re-textured with gesso and modelling paste, it tends to get rid of the "cotton" feel to the texture of the weave. I like the "give" of a stretched canvas. Some artists don't but with me it's a a matter of choice. I will work on canvas board as well, it's cheap and easy to re-texture. Again with oils I'll also try gessoed masonite-or, as it's called in some countries-hardboard. I find it a somewhat unsympathetic surface sometimes I'll admit. Another way is to stretch cotton canvas around it, gluing it down with matte medium. The overall problem I have with masonite is it's weight-when shipping paintings this weight adds up! With stretched canvases it's alot lighter in that regard. I also am not sure of painting on prepared paper either. Cloth seems to be a better standard for working especially on large, major pieces. Belgian Linen is also nice, if you can afford it-it tends to be expensive- and it can go "brittle" in time.

With watercolors, I prefer a fine paper made for such. There are lots on the market. Cold Press means it has a rough or textured surface to it, and Hot Press means it's really smooth. Depends on what you are doing and what is needed. If you want a loose painting, I advise Cold Press paper, or if it's rather tight, try Hot Press. Yoshitaka Amano once advised me to try rice paper because the ink or watercolor disperses so much it forms it's own patterns and you see these great accidents happening before your eyes.

Working with Gouache, or Acrylics, I prefer illustration board. Acrylics is also nice on canvas board as well, and you can get some great dry-brushing effects. Dry brushing is when you take a brush, that has a bit of paint on it and gently brush it across a darker color that's painted on something very textured. Illustration board is simple bristol board which is mounted on a thicket piece of cardboard. Bainbridge and Cresent made good boards for this.

I've painted on everything in my life, so this is just passing on some info for students and others who might be interested in experimenting with surfaces or, are curious as to what I use!

Very busy these days! Something visual soon!


Blogger Annalisa said...

Again, another very helpful post! Thank you especially for this one, because the cold-press-or-hot-press thing always confused me greatly. I'm sure the information was right there on Dick Blick's site but I just assumed it was some mystery I would never understand! I also never understood the whole linen thing, whether it was really that much better than cotton duck to justify the insanely high cost. I didn't know it could go brittle, ack! That's reason enough not to spring for the extra cost, I would imagine. Is there any way to prevent brittleness from happening?

This summer I tried painting on paper on masonite board and it was pretty enjoyable, but that slick feeling is definitely something to get used to. In general I'm not mindful enough of my surface. I suppose if I want to be completely honest it's laziness... although it's often linked to my feeling anxious to get to the fun part already!

12:08 PM  
Blogger Bob Eggleton (Zillabob) said...

Dick Blick is a good place. LInen is expensive and uneccessary if you want my feeling on it. Not sure about the brittleness but I was told that it won't happen in our lifetime. Maybe 60-70 years from now.

Yeah, right with you. The urge to want to "get on with it" and paint overwhelms me wanting to spend alot of time fixing up the surface of something, that said, when I'm lazy myself and in a "pottering" mood, I tend to get rid of my anxiety by painting and re-painting canvas surfaces. Obsessive compulsive? But then again, so is art!

11:02 PM  

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