I made a short video to tell people about a special hammer for stretching your own canvas! I had some confusion when I first bought this tool and I hope this video helps anyone who had the same trouble!
Did some compositional sketching and stretched a new canvas for this commission. I'm using Claessens double oil-primed linen, which I used previously on the portrait of my girlfriend (pictured in gallery below); I really like the Claessens and put a tone down on it with some earth colors and Gamsol. The tone will be dry by tomorrow so I can sketch in the underdrawing and then get to work!
I'm writing this purely as an ode to this beautiful product.
The lead oil ground by Natural Pigments is a game changer for oil painting. I've written extensively about oil grounds and how they improve the surface quality of your painting, but this ground in particular is amazing. The great part of this product is two coats of it will give you an shiny/slightly oily surface which takes paint extremely well.
The ground comes as white but I tone my oil ground to a light gray with burnt sienna, burnt umber and ivory black. If you've never heard of oil ground, I highly recommend you investigate their application and advantages. You can find some articles on my site, but check out other sources also.
I'll also say that I apply my oil ground using a knife instead of a brush; this is mainly because I find that a little bit of variety in the ground can liven up the painting. And also you won't have to clean a big brush, just wipe off your palette knife when you're done!
Fun Fact: I'm applying this ground to linen panels that I made myself. I used to make them for a company that I had called EAS Custom Canvas. I shut down that business because I want to make the paintings, not the canvas.
"Tacks are always better than staples for canvases, but many modern tacks are dull and made overseas. One step better than modern tacks are blued steel tacks which I've recovered while working on some furniture refinishing. These tacks are around 100 years old and sharp as the day they were forged. The other advantage is that they're blued to protect against rust. I'm constantly looking to the past to learn about craftsmanship and I'll be re-using these beautiful tacks at EAS Custom Canvas."