Problem with paint surface using Ivory Black

I seem to have a problem with the black paint on this newly started painting. I used Ivory black with no added medium. It’s the first layer of black on white gesso. I put ten coats of gesso on HDF substrate. I painted directly on the dry gesso, no oiling of the raw gesso first.

The paint has dried (nearly) leaving a curious pattern on the surface.

Do I need another layer of black? It is already totally covered to my satisfaction. Will it disappear with oiling out? Should I wait till absolutely totally dry and sand the paint? Or could it disappear with varnishing?
Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

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Can’t say I’ve ever experienced that before.

Interesting pattern, resembles the pattern of mould growth.

I could imagine you would get patchiness as black dries but not in this pattern. Personally I would do another coat and see how that looked when dry. Certainly wouldn’t hope varnishing would correct it as once done be a real pain to go back. Hopefully another coat may equal out the sinking in (if that is what is the culprit)

On the plus side it is a black passage of paint so easy to apply another layer. Imagine if it had been a large area of detail.

As I say I’ve been fortunate enough to not experience this problem but others on here may have so I’d work on something else for a week. Give time for a number of responses to come in before deciding plan of attack.

Best of luck.

This is a first layer and unusual unless it was ground in safflower oil and other fillers.
I have not had that problem with straight paint and no medium. But I have had similar looks to dark paint when the room goes from damp to hot and when I use medium. George O’Hanlon always says its the absorbancy of the ground you put on.

The only thing I can think of is if the room was humid or damp from rain or cold and you had heat on, that could cause that spotting of what appears a separation of oil and dampness. when you gessoed the panel, was it on a rainy day and was the room cold? Also, if the brush was damp or the surface was damp, as per virgil elliott, that could happen. It is sinking in as well.

why not send it to Virgil Elliott and George O’Hanlon. They are great and have a forum I often go to for problems!

Traditional Oil Painting Techniques and Best Painting Practices…join them:)

I forgot to mention that I sanded the final layer of gesso until there were no brush marks which changes the surface totally, making it highly absorbent. Also, the grey area is painted with a mostly white and black mix and although is hard to detect, it doesn’t seem to have this pattern. This layer had more medium.
The idea that it is the ground sounds right. I used Utrecht professional grade gesso. Next time I’ll use Liquitex professional grade as is my wont and see if that makes a difference.

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The substrate and the way it’s prepared plus the ground is what makes or breaks the layers of paint and how they adhere. I just started using Rublev lead Alkyd ground which dries next day. You can paint on it in 3 days. There is nothing like lead primed substrates. Wear gloves and you’re good to go.
It is a non problematic surface to paint on… looks more luminous and won’t crack and sink!

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Here’s the same area, second layer of paint. On the other sections of black all I did was oil them in, they look just as good. So, problem seems to be gone, I really don’t know what caused that curious pattern.
Thanks everyone, for the input. I hope this helps if anyone runs into this problem.