A Failed Oil Painting: Pumpkin and Leaves

Most of the time I feel that time and focus is directly proportional to the success of my artwork. And tonight I realized that having incorrect materials is very distracting which leads to lack of focus and eventually a failed oil painting. Basically I’m blaming my canvas board tonight for a failed painting. 

I was using a 5×7 gesso board by Speedball and the biggest issue is how the gesso is applied to the board. I’m not sure how they do it, but it’s so slick that the oil paint barely sticks to it. Every time I go to apply a stroke of paint the bristles of the brush scrape down to the white of the board leaving marks all over the painting. I have known this for a while but I had forgotten to sand and gesso the board before tonight. So I decided to deal with it, that ended up being a bad decission. The whole painting process became annoying.

I have since moved to the Ampersand Gessobord, the way in which the gesso is applied to these boards provides a perfect painting surface with no need of extra gesso, but they are a bit more expensive of course. The reason why I wasn’t using the Ampersand Gessobord tonight is that I’m trying to use up my back stock of canvases that I don’t like.

Failed oil painting setup

failed oil painting of a pumpkin setup

Of course this is all subjective. Someone may really like this painting, and I’m sure there are artists out there that love the Speedball panels. The point is, and I think most artists will agree, that distraction can kill a painting session. To be proactive about this I’m going to create a setup process for all my paintings, much the same as the warmup page that I do before every drawing session.

The subject for this painting
failed oil painting of a pumpkin subject

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