I have decided to try painting on panels. Why?
-All my friends do it. HA! Since when has that mattered?
-They're less work to finish and frame.
-They're smaller to store.
-They are more stable support for thick paint.
-They have to be framed (as opposed to gallery-wrapped canvas, which can have its sides painted.)
-If you put them in panel carriers the edges get smeared.
-They are heavy.
-If you buy them instead of making them, they are really expensive.
So I probably won't use them for air travel, but let's try this out and see if I like it.
So I ask everyone I know and do an internet search on how to prepare them. As usual, I get a bazillion answers, and have to resort to my own testing.
I have settled on 1/4 inch sandee plywood from Home Depot. It has a fully filled core, birch veneer, and smooth surface both sides, though one is very soft and will definitely be second choice. I buy a sheet and have my husband saw it up into appropriate sized bits. (This involves cleaning the garage, but hey.)
I take some of the scraps (there shouldn't have been any, but who knew the saw blade would eat up so much wood?) and use them to test sealing finishes. Above are my squares, testing Gesso, PVA size, GAC 100 from Golden, and a 50/50 mix of Galkyd/Gamsol. I finish both sides plus the ends. Then I soak them 24 hours in a tub of warm water to simulate humidity and dry them in 90 degree sun to test for warping.
The GAC 100 softened slightly on the surface. This might not happen if it's cured longer than a day, but I decide to eliminate it except for in travel situations. The Gesso and the PVA size panels warped slightly. The winner? 50/50 Galkyd/Gamsol. Which means they have to be done outdoors. Better get busy making enough panels to last til spring.