I started a new portrait today of my girlfriend Laura. It's inspired by some of my recent art revelations as I try and figure out what works for me. I'm really proud of it and I can't wait to start refining it. I'm painting on a canvas stretched from Claessens oil ground linen, which I also want to talk about.
I had never used Claessens before and I absolutely love it now. I'm using a double primed ground which I bought a huge roll of (so it's a good thing I like it). It's toned white, but it's kind of a soft white so it's easy to work on. It also has a slightly oily tooth to the surface so it grips the paint really well. I've used Fredrix oil ground in the past, but I always found Fredrix to be too dry and absorbent; The paint sits on the surface of the Claessens ground really nicely.
It's always impossible to put it into words, but I highly recommend Claessens oil ground for anyone looking for a beautiful surface for oil painting. I would really love it if Claessens made a toned gray oil ground, but a boy can dream...