Poplar Panel (a painting support)

This is a poplar panel for painting on.  A small panel, only 12 x 15″, it is braced with two pine battens joined to the panel with a sliding dovetail joint.  This joint, which requires no glue, allows the battens to support the panel across the grain while still allowing the wood to expand and contract with the seasons.

I am no great historian, but I enjoy doing certain aspects of my work by traditional techniquies.  Supporting a panel in this way has some historical precedent, with the added benefit that it is effective and simple.  

The panel has just been “sized” with a thin solution of rabbit skin glue, to isolate the fibers of the wood from the effects of the oil of the paint.  The next step will be, however, to apply many coats of gesso.  The recipe I use is also simple and of a traditional nature, consisting of powdered calcium carbonate (from marble dust and chalk) cooked with a solution of rabbit skin glue.  Marble dust, chalk, gypsum, and talc (and most likely many other ingredients) have all been used in the past to make various qualities of cooked gesso.

With variations, this is the basic method that I use for almost all of the paintings I do, which are painted on wooden panels.

Three Paintings Updated

John the Baptist,  I think he is pretty much done.  This picture is only slightly different form the earlier one- the Roman numerals are a bit lighter and there is text on the banners in the border.


The Messenger.  The picture to the right is included to show the painting without the as much glare.

The drawing of Moses in the cleft of rock.  Hopefully painting will begin this fall.

Quaker Wedding Certificate



The marriage certificate that I was honored to do for my friends Genesis and Terry’s wedding.  In the last picture you can see the signatures of all the attendees/witnesses.  It is done in graphite, sumi ink, colored inks and watercolor on a smooth watercolor paper.  The main picture and details are missing a few of the final touches of color which I negelcted to photograph.