Oil Painting Surfaces what is the best support.

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I have been asked, “When using Oil paints, what surface can I paint on”

The painting surface is called the “Support”

I personally use a lot of MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard)

If you like preparing your own materials then using MDF could be an easy option. MDF is wooden fibbers compressed with adhesive under high pressure. If you intend cutting MDF be aware that the dust can be harmful if you inhale it.
Ideally you should prime the MDF before painting. Primers control the texture and absorbency of the surface. Primers, commonly known as gesso can be obtained from good art suppliers or cheaply made by yourself.
Papers

No matter what you may have heard, it is perfectly possible to use paper for sketching in oil, a good quality, heavy watercolour paper that has been thinly primed with an acrylic gesso is ideal.

Canvas
Most bought canvass are cotton, as this is more affordable than linen and is easier to stretch.
I would personally still re-gesso a bought canvas as the primed surface is normally not of good quality.
Artists have been using canvas for more than three hundred years, however if it is not prepared correctly it will start to deteriorate very rapidly. However if it is primed/Gessoed correctly it will last for many years.
What we call canvas is often made from linen or cotton, linen is difficult to prime and stretch but can be the smoothest and stiffest painting surface of the two; it lasts many years, and is still regarded as the must for most classically trained artists.

Wood
Probably one of the oldest supports but requires a lot of attention to prevent it from warping.

Brick/stone
As we know, cave men painted on the walls of the cave using earth pigments, they would have combined them with a binder to help them stick.

Common Mistakes.
If you get the surface right you are well on the way to creating something special. Getting it wrong can cause frustration and delay
However Jackson Pollock never primed his support

Painting Blood

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There are many colours you can use to paint blood, I like to use Alizarins Crimson with a little Burnt Sienna and a spot of Cobalt blue.

You can use any Red and slowly add Violet until you get your desired colour.

You must also consider the colour you are painting it on to as this will have an affect on your colour, i.e. if you make it bright and put it on a dark colour it will look brighter, if you paint it onto a light colour it will look darker.

Happy Painting, Marc 😉