Painting on Aluminum panels is not a new technique, but it is one that is new to me and I’m loving it. I have purchased small panels and started experimenting. Every manufacturer has their own name for it. Alclad is used in the airline industry. AlumaComp is sold through Jerry Artarama. Jackson’s Art Supply has their own Jackson Aluminum Panel. DiBond is yet another brand. If you don’t mind prepping them with gesso, it is cost effective to purchase through a sign shop. Plus, they cut to your size specific.
I like applying the gesso myself so I can experiment and sometimes control the texture. Brush strokes can be intensified, directional, and the gesso can have different thickness. I’m using watercolors, so all of that is adding to the base challenge of watercolors ‘mind of its own’ on a slick Surface! The paintings can appear like an acrylic or oil painting, yet you have that dreamy fluid watercolor effect.
Another plus, if you don’t use a Krylon varnish to fix it, you can wash it off. Usually there is a ghost image, but a thin added layer of gesso will cover that up. When I do produce a keeper, I spray it with the Krylon. BONUS: No need for GLASS OR MATTING! Yeah!
I also gesso paper. If I use expensive 300 lb. paper and have a flop, I rinse it, dry it and gesso it for a second try.
Here are some examples. The top 2 are on Aluminum panels. If you look closely you can see the gesso brush texture and direction. The beets are on gessoed Arches paper. I found a huge full roll at an estate sale, and have been experimenting on it.