What are my favorite oil painting surfaces?

Over the years, I have painted on almost any surface that I can think of. So what is my preference? Well, I like all of them. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Oil primed linen – I wouldn’t try to prime your own unless you have months to wait for it. Oil primed linen doesn’t absorb much of your oil paint
  • Acrylic primed linen – This is my recent favorite. I put one or more layers of quality grade Gesso with marble dust (a.k.a. calcium carbonate)
  • Acrylic primed cotton canvas – This is fun for messing around.
  • Aluminum panels – Painting on aluminum panel can be fun. You can also put linen canvas on it. Be super careful with this, though.
  • Acrylic primed wooden panels – Put a few layers of Gesso on the wooden panel to get going. You can also put GAC100 medium from Golden so the oil paint doesn’t go through the wood.

Are you interested in painting over Acrylic Gesso? Read these:

General Recommendation

Do some research before you purchase expensive painting surface. If time allows, you can experiment preparing your own canvas from scratch. Use cotton to practice and gradually move on to linen canvas. And, if you really want to use oil ground, save it for the last layers. Remember that it could take a while for oil primed surface to dry.