A while back there was a two for one sale on linen canvases at Texas Art Supply because they were phasing out linen canvases in favor of cotton. I got hooked on linen about a year ago. It's a wonderful surface, especially the smooth portrait grade. I bought more than I should have at the sale, especially considering that there weren't many of the smooth canvases left. Several of the linen canvases I bought are thick weave, which I had forgotten is a bit difficult to paint on, unless one gets gloppy. In order to cover the surface, the paint has to be thick and applied with a heavy hand. If it goes on too gently, the paint doesn't fill in the valleys between the weave. But when it's too gloppy, the paint gets all messy and muddy.
The landscape I'm working on now is from a photo of our time at Balboa Park in San Diego and is on one of these thick weave linen canvases. I've determined that the best solution for painting this one is to lay the paint on thickly, then wait a day or so for it to set, then paint another fairly thick layer. Hopefully this will continue to work well for keeping the colors clean, and covering the surface. This is also giving me a little extra time to make sure that the colors are working well together--deciding what to put where and all that.
Also, since I can only work in small chunks of time on the Balboa Park landscape, I am finally reworking a painting that had bothered me for some time. It's got a lot of work before it's suitable for viewing, but I'm already enjoying the bit that's been reworked. Maybe I won't have bad dreams about it anymore.