Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cherry Blossoms Study #1 - Study for Work In Progress

Cherry Blossoms Study #1  11x14  Oils on canvas panel

Study for Work In Progress.

This is an 11x14 "sketch" for a painting for my daughter. The final size will be 3 feet by 3 feet on stretched canvas.  I didn't have a "small" square support/ground to work with, so I used one of my canvas covered masonite panels.

Question to knowledgeable artists:  is a canvas panel called a "support" or a "ground"?  I looked at the Golden Paints.com  web site and I interpret them as saying that a "support" and a "ground" are essentially the same thing only different.?!  Aaaack!  I'm assuming that the support is the material to which ground is applied.  Then my oil paints are applied the the ground that has been applied to the support.

So . . . . . what is the thing called that I frame (maybe) & hang on the wall? 

What is a Ground?
Historically, a ground is a surface specially prepared for painting by applying a layer of paint of even tone in preparation for further painting techniques. Acrylic Gesso can be used as a ground in the true sense, or a layer of gel, medium or paint can also be used for this purpose. With the availability of so many suitable products, a ground can be very specifically tailored for the requirements of the artist. 

What is a Support?
The term "support" refers to any material onto which paint is applied. Canvas, wood, and paper are common painting supports, but the types of supports used for artwork are very extensive. Cave walls and animal skins were among the first supports. Plaster frescos and wooden panels later became prominent, which eventually gave way to linen and cotton canvases. Modern supports such as polyester canvases, AcrylaWeave® and Syntra® panels will most likely succumb to other advancing technology. The search for the ideal support is perhaps a never-ending quest, and is very much influenced by the types of materials available at the time. 


  1. Hi Ken,

    Is it possible that the ground is something that is applied to a support??? (If I hadn't read "ground is a surface..." I wouldn't have a doubt, but now I'm thinking that part is maybe a mistake...)
    You're preparing a painting for your daughter, that has to make you feel really special, that's great! Your study is looking good already, and the subject is almost unbeatable in 'lovelyness'. A good amount of work you have ahead anyway, but also a lot of fun :)
    Warm regards,

  2. I am nuts in all this words, but I know www.wetcanvas.com They usually help a lot, put a questions in "oil painting" forum.

  3. Carolina! and Irina! Sometimes making a post about a painting is really hard work, isn't it? I don't know enough "background knowledge" or "facts" that apply to making a painting.

    I know that I put colors of oil paints on my palette then put them on . . . . something flat (usually). :-) As much paint gets on my clothes and my hands as on the painting.

    Ken B.


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