I think I might be an unlucky person. I can't shake the feeling at the moment. My back started to have troubles again, the snow severely snowed us in at the same time, the trains stopped running as a result. I could not walk anywhere really. But I thought, once the holidays began, that at least I had my ready gessoed panel to paint the drawing i'd lovingly sketched.
I struggled with it for 2 days before giving up and realising - The gesso had too much rabbit skin glue in the ratio, it did not let the paint sink enough, it was lying there in streaks on the board. So I had to scrape it all off. I am now on a daily basis trying to sand the entire thing back, I don't trust layering gesso over gesso. I cannot get a replacement panel until the snow clears.
So....I decided to hell with it, I dragged out some old watercolour boards and started painting animal sketches - working with a classical palette. The classical palette is described here. The rest of that site is also brilliant for it's wealth of information. The author is a watercolourist but I find it relevant to any materials.
I've always worked on wood panels and as a result of this my work has been necessarily quite sharp and opaque, working on the watercolour paper board however has given everything a softer feeling. I can wash and glaze without streaks.
One of the sketches is this llama head.
Inspired by an amazing lady we met on the train and subsequently whose house we visited for a christmas dinner. At about 1am and all of us a bit tipsy we went out into her back yard and met her 2 llamas and 5 pet sheep. They were all fed weetabix while we watched in amazement....I found the llamas unbelievably graceful.
Anyway, unluckiness sometimes yields discoveries...I'll try more with watercolour board in future, for one thing it's cheaper and lighter and for another....there's no gesso involved!
Hope you're all having a lucky christmas x