Panel Painting Using Bamboo

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Panel painting, painting executed on a rigid support—ordinarily wood or metal—as distinct from painting done on canvas. Before canvas came into general use at the end of the 16th century, the panel was the support most often used for easel painting. A variety of woods have been used, including beech, cedar, chestnut, fir, larch, linden, white poplar, mahogany, olive, dark walnut, and teak.

The major aim of this study is to explore dramatically the use of bamboo sticks in the making of panel painting. This research is due to the quality of bamboo as regards to its effect in various weather conditions.

According to the British English dictionary “Panel is a (usually) rectangular section of a surface or of a covering or of a wall, fence etc.”(1) Panel painting also as defined by Wikipedia online “is a painting made on flat panel made on wood, either a single piece, or a number of pieces joined together.” (2)



Panel painting, Boy from Al-Fayum, 2nd century CE (a mummy portrait). Encaustic on wood—note the cracks.

Canvas took over from panel in Italy by the firs half of the 16th century, a change led by Montagna and the artist of Venice (which made the finest canvas at this point for sails). In the Netherlands the change took about a century longer, and panel paintings remained common, especially in Northern Europe, even after the cheaper and more portable canvas had become the main support medium. The argument is that wood panels, especially if kept with too little humidity, often warp and crack with age, and from the 19th century, when reliable techniques were developed, many have been transferred to canvas or modern board supports.

Compared to hardwood and other flooring options, bamboo has high climate suitability because it grows in the tropics bamboo also does well in both arid humid climates because it does not swell and contract like hardwood.

Pintor 2009,” The good thing is that you can experiment with all the different surfaces that we have available, and fixed out for yourself which surfaces you like the most. At this moment I’m with the quality of the panel (cheap plywood) than anything else.” (3)

       “Although the bamboo may not be nearly as imposing or sturdy as the pine, it too remains mostly green through the winter as segment upon segment reach out with abundance and stamina to withstand the cold. Unlike the pine however, the stalk of the bamboo is hollow which came to symbolize tolerance and open mindedness. Furthermore, the flexibility and strength of the bamboo stalk also came to represent the human values of cultivation and integrity in which one yields but does not break. Along with the pine and the plum, the bamboo is a member of the “three friends of winter it is also one of the “four gentlemen” together with the plum, the orchid, and the chrysanthemum”.

        Artists would typically use wood native to the region. Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528), for example, painted on poplar when he was in Venice and on oak when in the Netherlands and southern Germany. Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) used oak for his paintings in France; Hans Baldung Grien (1484/5–1545) and Hans Holbein (1497/8–1543) used oak while working in southern Germany and England. In the Middle Ages, spruce and lime were used in the Upper Rhine and often in Bavaria. Outside of the Rhineland, softwood (such as pinewood) was mainly used. Of a group of twenty Norwegian altar frontals from the Gothic period (1250–1350) fourteen were made of fir, two of oak, and four of pine (Kaland 1982). Large altars made in Denmark during the fifteenth century used oak for the figures as well as for the painted wings. Lime was popular with Albrecht Altdorfer (ca. 1480–1538), Baldung Grien, Christoph Amberger (d. 1562), Dürer, and Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472–1553). Cranach often used beech wood—an unusual choice. In Northern Europe, poplar is very rarely found, but walnut and chestnut are not uncommon. In the northeast and south, coniferous trees such as spruce, and various types of fir, and pine have been used. Fir wood is shown to have been used in the Upper and Middle Rhine, Augsburg, Nuremberg, and Saxony. Pinewood was used mainly in Tirol and beech wood only in Saxony. However, in general, oak was the most common substrate used for panel making in the Low Countries, northern Germany, and the Rhineland around Cologne. In France, until the seventeenth century, most panels were made from oak, although a few made of walnut and poplar has been found.

The oak favored as a support by the painters of the northern school was, however, not always of local origin. In the seventeenth century about four thousand full-grown oak trees were needed to build a medium-sized merchant ship; thus, imported wood was necessary. Oak coming from Königsberg as well as GdaÅ„sk is often found among works by Flemish and Dutch artists from the 15th through the 17th centuries - the origin can be established by the patterns of growth rings. In the last decade of the seventeenth century, Wilhelmus Beurs, a Dutch writer on painting techniques, considered oak to be the most useful wooden substrate on which to paint. However, exceptions are seen rather early in the seventeenth century: sometimes walnut, pearwood, cedar wood, or Indian woods were used. Mahogany was already in use by a number of painters during the first decades of the seventeenth century and was used often in the Netherlands in the nineteenth century. Even so, when canvas or copper was not used, the main oeuvre of the northern school was painted on oak panels.(4)



1.  One of the major significance of the study is to reestablish panel painting using bamboo because of the qualities of this particular type of wood which is not affected by weather condition when compared with other types of wood which warp when exposed to humid and arid weather conditions.

2.  To explore in creative art the use of natural wood or materials in making of painting, taking into consideration its beauty and durability as regards to time.

3.  As regard to portability in terms of transportation to produce an art piece that can be easily installed and detached into pieces for easy carriage.




1.  To produce a painting using the commonly known bamboo as a ground.

2.  To reestablish strength in making panel work.

3.  To explore the use of other medium apart from oil and acrylic in painting.

4.  To create a puzzle like painting for easy carriage when the need arises.

5.  To encourage other practicing artist to develop the art of creating works with natural resources and uncommon materials in painting.

6.  To retain the dying culture of painting on wood for fear of the effect by weather conditions.





This project tittled exploring bamboo in panel painting a dyeing world, is majorly focused at the use of bamboo sticks to create a panel painting. Taking into consideration its rigid qualities as regard to forms but the advantage of it all is the strength and durability of the bamboo when compared to other wood like the oak, cedar, chestnut, fir, beech larch, linden, white poplar, mahogany, olive, dark walnut, and teak which were previously used in doing panel painting.

Another major interest as regard to the painting “A dying world exonerates the state or condition of the world, the wars and fighting, decay or morals, indecency in dressing, promotion of immorality by the leaders and many dominating immoral lifestyle that has taken over men. For this cause judgments is about to come upon the world and the question is who will save the world?


In exploring bamboo for panel painting, in intend to

1.  Incur bamboo sticks and cut them to desired length and sizes using measurement.

2.  With the use of a filing machine, file the rough rings along the wood and other shape areas so as to give it a fine texture and also remove sliny lay

3.  Move holes on the bamboo and connect them together as one piece.

4.  Apply chemical against wood eating insect

5.  Size and prime and

6.  Executive the painting, then varnish the surface

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Panel Painting Using Bamboo