|Batch of hardboard panels, ready to be prepped|
(There is still time to give your support to my Kickstarter project. Here is a link to it for details: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pleinairman/50-paintings-roosevelt-campobello-intl-park-50th-a)
As I mentioned in my previous update, I've received an order of panels I'll be using for the project. This weekend, I worked on preparing the panels, and I wanted to share that process with you.
It would be far easier and less time-consuming if I bought ready-made panels, but I am picky about the surface I'm painting on. I like to prepare my own. Some people just slap on a coat of acrylic gesso, but I go a good deal further than that.
First, I buy precut hardboard panels. The panels need to be accurately cut, and I've never been able to do that well on my own. (I'm of the "measure once, cut twice" school of carpentry.) I find the precut ones have no trouble fitting into ready-made frames. (These are from Dick Blick: http://www.dickblick.com/products/hardboard-panels/)
|Sizing the panels|
|Waiting for the size to dry|
|First layer of acrylic gesso|
|Texture in the gesso|
After this first layer dries, I follow with a second layer. I don't sand between layers, and I again apply the gesso with random strokes. This second layer is the last, since it creates a white ground upon which to paint that isn't blindlingly white but sufficient to do its job. (If you apply oil paint transparently, the white ground will bounce light back through the paint and make it glow like stained glass.)
|Applying the acrylic matte medium|
|You can really see the texture the matte medium gives|
|Sanding the panels|
The whole process, not including final drying time as a "house of cards", takes about three days. So, when you ask how long it took to make a painting, make sure you add that into the calculation!