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Tips for Using Wood Painting Panels

Wooden panels were used for some of the most famous paintings in history.  These panels absorb watercolors very easily and can really help you create a vibrant creation.  Wood painting panels can consist of many different types of woods from olive, mahogany, beech, to cedar.  If you are planning on using painting panels rather than the standard paper canvas, there are some things that you should know.

When using wood panels, you have to prime the wood.  Priming protects the wood from moistures, ensure that it is sturdy, and will be easier to paint on.  You can start by using a coat of shellac which is a resin you can find in painting supplies stores.  A quick thin coat is enough so you have to make sure you don't overdo it.

Next, if the wood painting panels are not sanded already, you will want to do so now.  You can use a sander or sandpaper before you apply the shellac.  The sanding will get rid of splinters, rough edges, and smooth out the panel.  This will ensure that there are fewer errors in your painting and your painting is more consistent.

The last step is to apply the gesso, which is a white paint mixture that is designed to coat hard surfaces so that it can absorb the paint more easily.  What you want to do is to brush the gesso on to the panel.  As you paint, you'll get a feel of how much coating of gesso to apply.  The amount you put on will have an impact on the paint you use.  Just like shellac, you can find gesso in an online painting supplies store.

You may want to sand it again after the gesso dries.  The sanding will affect how the paint smears on to the wood painting panels so this is something you have to experiment with.  You are encouraged to try different amount of layers of gesso and play around with the sanding to come up with a texture that you feel would suit you best.

If you want to protect painting panels, you will want to frame the panel before starting the project.  What framing does is it protects the wood from warping and supports the panel so that you can work on your painting without being too concerned about applying too much pressure to the wood.

So those are some quick tips for working with wood painting panels.  Although it takes a lot more work to prepare compared to a regular paper canvas, you will notice a big difference in working with wooden panels.  Some artists prefer panels because it makes the colors more vibrant and also because they know their artwork will be preserved for a much longer time.

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