Working with Baltic Birch Plywood

Dusk on Golden Strand Doogurt, Achill, Co. Mayo. Original oil painting, on birch plywood panel and bracing frame.
Dusk on Golden Strand Doogurt, Achill, Co. Mayo. Original oil painting, on birch plywood panel and bracing frame.

This year I’ve been developing my own prepared wood panels for my paintings. After a lot of research and experimentation, (thank you Lathams – timber specialists), I’ve settled on higher grade 3mm 3 ply Baltic Birch (low formaldehyde). It’s a fine balance of weight and rigidity that works particularly well for working outdoors. I use 16mm solid core Baltic Birch for bracing the panel, it’s rigid and strong.

Previously I was using paper mounted on MDF panel and braced with a pine frame. I love painting on Fabriano Tela paper. This worked very well but the archival mediums I was using to mount were getting more costly and the process of making the panels was quite labour intensive. Moving from pine wood bracing to plywood has been great too – love plywood. There’s an exhibition on in London at the moment https://www.vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/plywood-material-of-the-modern-world.

My method in pictures