If you’ve been itching to try something different as a support for your painting, consider painting on a wooden panel.
Wood panels were one of the first supports used by artists.
Many of the old masters’ works you’ve read about and seen in magazines or online were not painted on canvas. They were painted on prepared wooden panels.
Canvas didn’t become popular until the 16th century, and then it flourished for its light weight and portability. It also took less preparation time. However, a number of artists still favored wood panels for their smaller works. Leonardo DaVinci painted the Mona Lisa on a poplar panel. Jan van Eyck, Rubens and Albrecht Dürer all used wood panels as well.
Why Choose Wood As A Painting Surface?
Painting on wood isn’t for everyone. It is absolutely rigid, which turns off some artists. It needs a fair amount of preparation, and it’s more limited in the sizes available.
However, it’s great for extremely heavy work like impasto painting. The excessive thickness of impasto paint can weigh down and stretch canvas, so a rigid support is necessary.
Encaustic and egg tempera paints also need a rigid surface, so prepared wooden panels are the first choice for artists painting with these mediums. The rigidity prevents cracking and warping of delicate paints with changes in humidity and temperature.
Mixed media artists also appreciate using wood panels. The hard surface can take any abuse an artist can throw at it and maintain a rigid, usable surface.
Art Alternatives wooden panels are perfect to recreate the look and feel of traditional painting styles. The panels are also a good choice for mounting collage and mixed media, as well as permanent support for paper drawings and watercolors. Crafters also appreciate the versatility of a solid support for assemblage and other three-dimensional artwork.
These 11″x14″ wood panels are a standard studio depth of 3/4″, so they are easily mounted in frames. For modern-style painting, many artists prefer to paint the sides of the panels in black and hang as-is.
The face of the panel is a smooth, solid hardwood and the side frames are also solid wood. Hardwood is used for the painting surface as it has a fine grain and does not have resins that could seep from the wood.
Preparation consists of applying a coat of gesso, followed by sanding to a smooth finish. Additional coats of gesso may be applied, depending on the texture required.