Recently, since I decided to switch from the old faithful primed canvas to aluminium panel for a couple of new works, it has taken me quite a bit longer to finish each work. It might be the effect of the shorter days. It could also be the one or two differences I hadn’t fully appreciated before embarking on painting in oils on treated aluminium.
The surface is truly mesmerising to paint with, making your oil paint feel silken and luscious. I believe it can also be left bare too, exposing a matt metal finish which can almost act like another colour or dimension to your painting.
Once I’d built up the paint layers, I hardly noticed I was painting on metal, aside from the lack of flex when applying the brush.
On the flip side, it took me quite a few paint sessions before the oil layers started to work over each other in the way I prefer. The 40cm x 40cm aluminium panel I used is very heavy and cold to handle outside in the winter. The finished painting will need to be framed too.
Why go to the extra expense and difficulty over canvas? Well, you could argue that the metal panel will probably be more stable over time and will be a rigid support - useful for the thicker areas of my oils. They won’t perish due to damp etc.
By the tide is one of my latest paintings explores the movement of nature and the atmosphere of the shore through textural form and colour. It is inspired by evocative views of the shore on a breezy day in winter. The afternoon drew to a close and the first colours of sunset appeared in the sky.
Published December 2016