|PB&J 8x8" oil on primed panel|
First off, I tried Rosemary & Co.'s Ultimate brush and instantly fell in love. I prefer to use natural brushes and have been using their Chunking brushes for a couple of years now and thought I'd try the Ultimate. I don't know much about the ins and outs of brush making but as far as brush using, these are fantastic. So far they keep their shape and are responsive to both a delicate touch and a heavy hand. I haven't used them a ton so I can't say anything about how they hold up yet. They're supposed to hold up better than most natural bristles so we'll see how that goes.
Second, I got some Masonite and decided to prime some of the panels with a tinted gesso. I had some Blick gesso and Liquitex raw sienna acrylic paint and after mixing them together ended up with some sort of a Calamine lotion colour. It was an experiment so I just went with it. It worked really well for this PB&J because the background in my composition was white. I think if the primer had been darker it would have been harder to cover up with white paint and if it were white it would be a little confusing with the drawing stage. Either way, I'm happy with the results and can't wait to try them on location to see if the tinted primer works well for that too.
Speaking of painting en plein air... If you've ever thought you might want to try it but want to be more prepared for some of the challenges that may come your way, try to paint a PB&J sandwich! I made the sandwich and thought how easy it was going to be to paint it. Then I had to give one of the dogs a bath. So I got half way in to the painting, took a 30 minute break and came back. The sandwich didn't get up and move on me but it did change. The bread was soaking up the jelly and the peanut butter had slid down. To anyone else it would look exactly the same but to someone painting it, it looked completely different. In this instance it's ok because it's just an experiment, but as a lesson in plein air painting it's a good one for learning the surprises of how your composition can change on you.