View Full Version : I made a booboo. Will my painting fall off the canvas?

03-18-2019, 11:02 AM
About three weeks ago I covered a canvas in raw umber that was thinned with OMS. I recently started a new painting but I didn't want such a dark base coat so I made what I'm now realizing is the mistake of covering it in a layer of grey Gesso.

Being a noob, I hadn't read yet that you can't put acrylic over oil since the oil continues to oxidize for so long.

It was a fairly thin layer of umber and it dried quickly. It's been three weeks. Is my painting doomed? Will a gaseous layer form between the oil and acrylic leaving my painting at risk of getting blown right off the canvas in a stiff breeze? What ill effects might I encounter?

03-18-2019, 11:19 AM
Hi, welcome to the oils forum!

If you are new to painting, honestly don't worry about it. Use the canvas, practice, it's fine.

If you were doing a commission or Something Very Important it would probably be best to use a different surface, but if you are just painting for practice/just starting out, use it and mark it on the back for your own records.

A full layer of oil under acrylic WILL crack, and it will take years and get progressively worse. I don't know about a thinned layer. It might eventually have effects but it will take a long time. Many years. By that time, if you keep painting, you will have progressed far along and you honestly won't care.

03-18-2019, 11:22 AM
That is a good point. Thanks. As much as I feel attached to this painting as I work on it, down the road I'm sure I won't care.

03-18-2019, 11:27 AM
You won't care, not if you keep painting and getting better.
It's pretty standard to think you did the Best Painting Ever and a year later you cringe and can't even look at it anymore! :lol: It's a sign of growth.

Use the surface, enjoy your painting, and keep going.

03-18-2019, 12:51 PM
I think, you have no problem.

03-18-2019, 08:43 PM
I would recommend that you read this thread, especially the observations made within the first few sentences by the Original Poster. I am referring to the part in which he commented that the "gesso flaked off". (Acrylic Gesso is very similar to acrylic paint, and it is not meant to be applied over an oil painted surface.)


This person seemingly had applied acrylic paint over an oil-primed surface. And, yes,......his painting (application of "Gesso") fell off the canvas", sorry to say.

03-19-2019, 11:32 AM
Yes I've come to terms with the fact that this will be a disposable practice piece. It seems the guy mentioned in the comment above was trying to paint his gesso on an unknown primer. His oils weren't even sticking to it. Either way, I'm prepared for the worst.

03-19-2019, 01:13 PM
It occurs to me that one might start with a very smooth board, sealed and sanded very smooth. Prime it using Silicone-Teflon spray lubricant. Then paint over it.

With time (not too long), the painting should slide right off the board, either in pieces or altogether. Maybe such a work could be exhibited in one of the more famous museums of modern art. It would be accompanied by a lengthy artist's manifesto about the impermanence of this-or-that, and the retention of meaning in the mind's eye, perhaps accompanied by a quotation from Wittgenstein or a similar philosopher. Eventually, the pieces will be swept from the floor by the custodian, leaving only the slick, blank board.

Before you laugh too hard, something of the sort has already been done. A few years ago, at San Francisco's Museum of Modern Art, one of the exhibits was a number of large photographs (traditional chemical photos, not digital) that had not been fixed using Thiolsulfate. Thus, with exposure to light, the residual Silver Halides decomposed, fogging the images. At the time I saw them, nothing was visible except a solid, brownish haze (and the artist's manifesto). :rolleyes:

03-24-2019, 11:07 AM
I agree. That was big "Boo Boo"!


If, in fact, the raw umber layer was thinned enough with the spirits, and it was more of "wash", there wouldn't be enough oil to prevent the gesso layer from adhering to the substrate. That's just a theory. You MIGHT be okay on this one, but definitively not a good practice!

03-31-2019, 03:42 PM
You can always photograph is as evidence of your journey into painting. That way even if it spoils you still have documentation of your progression.