After flavoring my medium with additions for several days, today I used my normal medium. I worked on this painting during both of today’s sessions. When the painting surface is right, as with this painting, my normal medium is unbeatable.
What is a good surface? I like smooth surfaces. ‘Smooth’ means the canvas weave is almost invisible. As with my medium, I’ve tried a lot of different materials and processes. Here’s my current practice:
A. 1 layer of GAC 100 (glue replacement)
B. 2 layers of extra-fine acrylic gesso. Each layer is sanded smooth.
C. 1 layer of oil-based ground applied with a scrapper. The scraper makes a smoother surface than simply painting it on.
D. 1 layer of middle-tone oil paint thinned with turpentine and containing a smidge of copal varnish. Applied with a brush.
I consistently get good surfaces with this process. I will most likely drop the first step. I use the GAC 100 to smooth the canvas tooth and make the application of the gesso faster. The acrylic gesso does not require a layer of glue to protect the canvas as traditional oil grounds do. I haven’t decided to replace the first step with another layer of gesso, or just drop it.