Our Lady of the Wood: Lenten Project Day 10: I Messed Up


Hey, everyone. So… I learned the hard way that before you start any project with a medium you haven’t done before, you really need to do your research.

So, it’s with a heavy heart that I say that the drawing of Mary and Jesus I spent a few days doing is no longer visible.


Thankfully, the rings that naturally occured on the wood are still visible, and I was tracing over them to make the trees and part of Mary’s dress.

Here’s what happened. I knew that any surface you have to paint on needs to be primed, but after a few minutes of research, I found that NOT having primed wood before painting can be a bit disastrous. If untreated beforehand, oil paint can react with the wooden surface causing the wood to rot as well as the paint to yellow years ahead of time. I want this painting to be an heirloom piece that will last centuries down the line, so I decided to do this right.

I went down to Blick and got some PVA Size and Ground. Acrylic Gesso may have been the cheaper option, but given the nature of this art piece, I wanted to use the best quality materials I could:


I really like anything done by Gamblin. Not only is it an art supply company, but it’s one that specializes in art conservation. No, they’re not sponsoring me. I legitimately love this company.

So, as per the instructions, I put two coats of PVA size on the wood to treat it, then put two coats of Ground to give it a good surface to be painted on. Unfortunately, It’s going to need a whole week to fully dry and set before I can do anything else to it.

I think it goes without saying that this will probably take a lot longer to finish than the whole season of Lent.

So… what am I going to do in the meantime? I’m going to redraw the picture I made on paper so that when the ground has fully dried, the drawing will be already to be transferred. Also, I’m going to spend an hour each day continuing with my aunt’s Van Gogh reproduction. I actually made a lot of progress today. Here:




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