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  • When you select your panel material, check it carefully to see that there are no flaws that will give you an uneven surface. Wood must be well cured to prevent checking and warpage.   If you choose to work with a Masonite, the "tempered" variety is often chosen because it has a harder, less flexible surface.   However, silicones and oils used in the tempering process may in time affect the adhesion of the paint film to the surface.  The Masonite Corporation recommends oil-based primer as an initial coat for tempered panels. For simplicity, choose untempered Masonite.   While somewhat less durable and more subject to warping, it is suitable to use for smaller panels and does not require the more detailed preparation.   As a personal note, I have untempered panels that I prepared 8 years ago that are show no signs of deterioration or discoloration.
  • Because of the potential for warping and the excess weight of hardboard or wood panels, it is best to use stretched canvas for larger pieces. If larger panels are used, they should be backed with a secure frame to assure stability.
  • Cut your panel to desired size.
  • Lightly sand the smooth side of the panel with a 220 grit sandpaper, making sure to round the edges so that the gesso will not build up as you apply the finish.   Wipe the surface with a damp cloth to pick up any dust from the sanding.
  • Pour some of the gesso into a flat container.
  • Using a foam brush, spread a coat of gesso on the panel, brushing it out to a thin, smooth finish.   It helps to brush in two directions.  Check to see that there are no major dust flecks in the surface.   If there are flecks, pick them out and brush out the gesso again.   Allow the gesso to dry and sand the panel until it is smooth. You will notice that the pigment of the board will show through. Multiple coats will enhance the whiteness.
    Be sure to store your foam brush in a sealed plastic bag between coats to keep it pliable.   To avoid problems with foam particles from the brush, do not use it for more than a few panels.
  • Repeat the process at least four or five more times, sanding lightly between each coat.
  • To protect the panel, coat the back and edges with gesso. This will keep it from absorbing unnecessary moisture.   Be sure to keep the panels standing straight or lying flat when you are finished.   When your panel reaches the brightness you desire and is thoroughly dry, you are ready to begin your painting.
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DVD Cover
"Rocks and Sea" DVD

Learn to paint rocks with this
58 minute video workshop.
DVD or Download.

DVD Cover
"The Protector" DVD

A colorful 89 minute video workshop, in close-up detail.
DVD or Download.

DVD Cover
"The Wild Sea" DVD

Learn to paint the sea with this 53 minute video workshop .
DVD or Download.

CD Cover
"The Breaking Wave" CD

The basic wave, 30 page e-book workshop for computer.
CD or Download.

Glacial Lake Missoula
"Glacial Lake Missoula"

See it on Nova Megafloods Website. Geologic commission. 

My back yard

A photo gallery of Oregon coast mushrooms 
Pickering family history
Oil painting video workshop to paint seascapes and ocean waves. Byron Pickering art, oil painting instruction builds confidence to master color, motion, and depth in seascape painting