Jackson’s Wooden Panels are made of smooth, sanded light plywood, reinforced on the reverse to prevent warping. Sturdy yet lightweight, they are perfect for plein air painting projects and work in the studio. Painters, Alys Elisabeth Davies and Louise Campion test Jackson’s Wooden Panels for oil painting.
Alys Elisabeth Davies Tests Jackson’s Smooth Wooden Panels
I’ve been using Jackson’s Smooth Wooden Panels for my oil paintings for a few years now. Having tried out a lot of other brands, I have always returned to them as they are often better quality than other market competitors and cheaper! Boards are much more cost efficient than good quality canvas, but I also prefer the smooth texture of board and how the paint applies to it.
They have an extensive range of sizes and two depths, depending on how you would like your finished work to look on the wall. As an artist who produces a lot of commissioned paintings, I love that the boards are cradled so they arrive to my clients easy to hang, without the need of framing. They also look fab with a Jackson’s Ready-made Ayous Wood Box Frame too.
You can also buy boards ready primed, but I prefer to prime and prep them myself for oil painting as I find that the paint applies much better. The boards are already sanded to be lovely and smooth, so I can apply my first coat of Jackson’s Gesso Acrylic Primer straight away. For this I’ll use a priming brush or large flat paintbrush. I’ll leave this to dry for an hour or so before applying a second coat. I might use a fine sanding block or sanding paper in between layers. Once the second coat is fully dry, I’ll just rub over the top again with the sanding block to make sure I’ve got an even surface.
I’ll normally use a burnt or raw umber thinned with some solvent to tone my board. I’ll use a large paintbrush and some cotton rag or kitchen towel to work the paint into the surface. If I’ve been organised, I’ll try and do this the day before starting a painting. Or, if really organised, I’ll prime and tone multiple boards in advance so I’m ready to start new paintings as and when!
I then will begin to sketch the composition of my painting before working in the colour. As you can see in the images, I work with quite thin layers of paint and like to keep the paint creamy and smooth with the help of a medium (I like to use linseed oil) and I also find the Jackson’s Procryl Brushes great for this type of velvety effect. The texture of the boards would equally work well for more impasto paint or mixed media application. For my works, I prefer the result and texture that is achieved with boards and prefer it to being able to see the texture of the canvas through the paint.
These images show a still life in progress using one of Jackson’s Smooth Wooden Panels, as well as some of my finished commissions and the finished texture.
About Alys Elisabeth Davies
Alys is an East London based artist who enjoys capturing the buzzing and ever-changing local area through her work. As well as painting the urban landscapes around her, she specialises in creating commissioned paintings with the aim of creating an heirloom for families to treasure.
She attended Cardiff Metropolitan University to do a Diploma in Fine Art & Design where she specialised in painting. She went on to complete a BA History of Art at UCL and subsequently worked for a few years at galleries (most recently as Curatorial Administrator at Tate Britain) before returning to her passion of painting full-time in 2021.
Louise Campion Tests Jackson’s Wooden Panels
My first impression of the Jackson’s Wooden Panels is really good. They arrived promptly via mail and the packaging was both secure and limiting plastic waste which I appreciate very much. Right away, I feel the panels: they are strongly built, they won’t move, and the wood is super smooth already which will make the rest of the process easier.
I sized them twice on both sides with gelatine and water which I prepared on a bain-marie, and the wood absorbed it really well and didn’t stain. I then taped the sides of the panels to keep them clean and applied three layers of white acrylic gesso on the surface, sending it in between each with some thin sandpaper. After letting it dry completely overnight, I applied a pink wash of oil paint mixed with citrus based solvent and a bit of linseed oil. The panels are now ready to use for my next paintings! I encountered no issue: The process was fast and satisfying and I honestly would recommend these to my peers.
About Louise Campion
Louise Campion is a French artist currently based in Glasgow, UK. She attended the Fine Arts School of Lyon in France, and obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Arts in 2019 from Concordia University in Tiohtià:ke – Mooniyang; Montreal in Canada. Primarily interested in painting and drawing, Campion’s practice focuses on the exploration of awareness and emotional survival within a context of global violence.
Campion has exhibited her work in galleries such as the Fofa Gallery (Montreal, Ca) and The Untitled Space (New York City, USA). She was part of Artch-Emerging Contemporary Art in 2020, Yes Montreal’s Connecting Creative Youth Through the Arts program in 2021, and recently completed artistic residencies with the Art Souterrain Festival and the Jano Lapin Gallery (Montreal). She is currently completing her Master of Fine Arts at the Glasgow School of Art (Scotland), for which she was awarded The Ranald and Jennifer May Postgraduate Painting Scholarship.