Artist Paul Alan Grosse reviews our Gesso Panels by Belle Arti: smooth and versatile handmade panels for use with techniques such as oil, acrylic, pencil, watercolour and ink
Handmade and traditionally crafted in Italy by expert artisans at Belle Arti, these Gesso Panels are the ideal versatile surface to create with and explore a wide variety of techniques, including oil, acrylic, pencil, watercolour and ink, thanks to the high absorbency of the panels.
The firm, smooth and polished surface allows for working in very fine details. From acrylics to oils and inks, the panels heighten the vibrancy of colours and are great for building up layers of colour. The base is constructed with a 7mm thick poplar multi-ply wood, which is stable, durable and lightfast, and a great value option to present work well without the need for framing.
The high absorbency of the panels may require extra oil to be used when working with oil paints. These panels may not be absorbent enough for use with egg tempera, which typically requires genuine gesso made with rabbit skin glue and whiting.
Artist Paul Alan Grosse Reviews the Gesso Panels by Belle Arti
One of our customers, Paul Alan Grosse, reviewed the Gesso Panels by Belle Arti Multi-ply poplar wood base on our website.
“This surface drinks oil. I tone down the white with a bit of Venetian red and plenty of boiled linseed oil to seal it. I let it stand and the oil oxidises for a couple of weeks to a month – the solid, oxidised oil layer makes an impermeable layer can then be painted on normally, just like a toned-down canvas.
One thing to consider with a surface as flat as this (especially when compared to a fine canvas) is that it doesn’t hold much paint, so you will need softer brushes than you normally use for painting on canvas.
The surface does not spring at all, so fine detail is far easier to paint. The surface is very flat so applying fine detail is not hindered by the ‘ploughed field’ of a canvas surface. Applying washes is easier because you haven’t got ‘furrows’ to fill (which on canvas, act as traps, causing unevenness in tone).
I would advise anybody thinking about using a panel like these to get a small canvas and an equally sized gesso panel and then paint the same painting on the two at the same time, in order to compare the two. The only disadvantage of panels is that when you start to get large, you start to get heavy. Fortunately, Jackson’s gives you the weight so you can compare. Having done the direct comparison test myself, I can only recommend these.”
We’ve chosen this useful review to be the ‘Product Review of the Month‘ and sent Paul a thank you voucher.
A Look Into Paul Alan Grosse’s Oil Paintings
British artist Paul Alan Grosse began working with oil paints at an early age. Portraits of Grosse’s own cats feature prominently in his work, where they are celebrated and depicted in Renaissance poses in a style evoking masters such as Jan van Eyck. “We (my wife and I) are cat lovers – aka servants”, says Paul Alan Grosse.“Having decided on a suitable situation for a cat, I take photographs so as to get angles, lighting and so on. I then do the basic overall composition on a computer. I then mark it out, usually in chalk, on a toned down (Venetian red) canvas or panel and start painting”, Grosse explains.
Intriguing and playful, the portraits express Paul Alan Grosse’s creative philosophy: “Art without the ability to show a sense of humour is souless,” he asserts.
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Postage on orders shipped standard to mainland UK addresses is free for orders of £39.