Acrylic Primers

As a result of their formulation, Winsor & Newton acrylic primers are suitable for oil painting. They are popular because they dry quickly and do not require any sizing underneath. Winsor & Newton Acrylic Gesso Primer has the highest covering power and is the best primer if using one coat only. Galeria Gesso Primer provides a good quality gesso at an affordable price. Clear Gesso Base is a unique product which provides tooth and no colour. Using acrylic with Clear Gesso Base, you can make your own coloured gesso.  A dark priming brings the elements of the painting together and also saves time when painting.

Oil Primer

Oil Painting Primer imparts a traditional oil base. Some artists prefer this and may find a slight increase in gloss and smoothness. Oil primed canvases may slacken off less than acrylic primed canvases. A coat of warm glue size is required first. The primer should be left to dry overnight. Foundation White is a white lead oil colour which can be used for lead priming. Lead priming was used exclusively up until the 20th century. As lead primed canvases have to dry for 6 months Oil Painting Primer is more popular.

Alun Foster

Common failings

Achieving good results in oil painting relies as much on the quality of the ground as the use of good quality oil colour. A high proportion of technical problems experienced by artists are due to a poor quality ground. Winsor & Newton primers and ready made surfaces ensure these results by controlling texture, absorbency and colour. Invest in good surfaces as well as good colours!