I am studying the art of dutch pen painting, as done by the master marine artist Willem Van Der Velde. I am hoping to attempt a copy of a section of one of his panels. I have done some studying on this, but would like a bit of advice.
From my research so far I have found out the following.
The technique is to have a wooden panel, primed with lead white, then either a white or brownish ground layer above (some sources say this layer is course) The panel is then left 3 months to dry, so that it is hard enough to take the pen work. Sharp quills are used to create the detailed drawing, with brush and wash work in other sections, such as the clouds and background.
I'm not exactly sure what paint to use on the layer above the primer, a regular oil paint of my required colour/tone? Also what is the best primer to use, I suppose lead white is hard to get in the UK?
I mostly draw ships and the sea with graphite, polychrome and sometimes pen and ink, so i have no experience priming panels and doing the oil underlay.