Painting the Beach. Oil Painting Walk-Through — Part 1

This next painting, is going to be much larger at 48" wide by 36" tall. In particular, it will be a scene from our fondest memories at Huntington Beach, CA where we used to live and it's also a location for major surfing competitions.

Huntington Beach, CA was a special place my wife and kids would visit every month, early in the morning for several years to build sand sculptures near the shoreline and right next to Huntington Beach Pier.

In this Blog, I'll be chronicling my adventure with this painting. The painting will be in oils, but I'll most likely block it in with acrylics first so that it can dry faster and I can begin with the oils sooner.

First of all, I am prepping a large spare piece of acrylic with gesso. After the first layer of gesso is applied I sanded between the first and second coat. I am currently applying the second coat and will sand and smooth between it and further coats. I think 3, possibly 4 coats of gesso and sanding between each should be adequate.

First layer of gesso applied

Sanding between layers

Adding second coat of gesso in opposite direction than the first coat

Sanding, sanding, sanding

Pictured below is the weave I'm going for in my gessoed panel that I'm preparing before painting. Each layer of gesso is applied in a particular direction, first - left to right, second - up and down, third - diagonally, and then fourth layer - opposite diagonal. Between each coat I sand and then I do a final sanding. I don't want the panel to be 100% smooth but I do want it to have just a slight tooth. Here's a pic of the gesso layers just before final sanding. The grain of the final diagonal gesso coat stands more prominent now, but will be toned down just a bit more during final sanding.

Below is what the surface looks like on the easel. It's big! 48" x 36" 


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