Old Master Oil Ground Preparation Tutorial
Step by step tutorial of how to prepare a canvas in the way of the old masters. Using a method I learned from Odd Nerdrum that dates back to Rembrandt and Caravaggio. This is a step by step tutorial that includes stretching a large linen canvas and then applying oil ground preparation on top of it in 2 layers. The ultimate result is a smooth and slick surface that is perfect for oil painting in the style of the old masters.
Benefits of Oil Ground Preparation:
1. Oil ground serves as a protective layer between your paint and sized canvas. It adds additional weight and flexibility.
2. The additional protection also means that you can scrape into the surface and create more layers & transparency without needing to worry about damaging the canvas. This is crucial if you plan to scrape down in between layers like the old masters did.
3. The slick and smooth surface makes starting a painting extremely easy. Your brush will glide across the canvas. This means you can cover more area more easily without the canvas ‘absorbing’ your color.
4. The ground is colored to make achieving life like results easier than any other method. Using a fleshy mid tone means that most of the surface area is already covered for you. You can immediately begin to fill in is the shadows and highlights.
5. Having this base mid tone also means you can use more transparent effects. You can intentionally leave transparency in your paint knowing that the fleshy mid tone will support you on the base level.
6. Having the color on the canvas from the beginning will set the mood of your painting and will create relative contrast.