Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Green Gate, 12x9

The Green Gate, 12x9 pastel on board
   Last week and for the third time, I took a 3-day workshop with Robert Carsten.  He is in my opinion the best pastel instructor I have worked with.  Most students leave happy with what they have learned, feeling they have achieved something. The amazing thing is that he seems to teach something new each time.

   Since the workshop was taught at Baltimore Woods nature center in Marcellus, NY, I took the opportunity to paint outdoors. The painting above was my first one and the main purpose was to explore value contrast. It was also a good way of learning about color temperature in the foreground and how one can mix different colors in order to bridge the cool and warm areas.

   Fearing I wouldn't get some Ampersand boards on time for the workshop, I decided to make my own:
I bought a 4x8' tempered masonite sheet for about $13 and had it cut at the store in sections of 10" (for 8x10 boards) and 12" (for 9x12 ones).  At home I cut them in the sizes I needed by scoring both sides of the board. I also used a plain to remove the fuzzy edges. After giving the boards 2 coats of gesso on both sides I  applied a coat of Colourfix primer to the painting surface. I used a sponge brush because it leaves fewer streaks than a nylon brush, but in any case, the board can be sanded afterwards to remove any ridges. Doing this doesn't take too long, saves money, and you end up with a good surface in the sizes you want.


Donna T said...

Such beautiful light in your painting, Adriana! I'm glad the workshop was a good one. I've never made boards like that but it's something I'd like to try. Paintings on boards must fit nicely into plein air frames!

Adriana Meiss said...

Thank you Donna. Next time though, I'll try to get the masonite sheet that is smooth on both sides (at Lowes for $9- wish I had known). The one I got has a smooth and a rough (like cardboard) side which requires more gesso to cover. I was also told that one can ask at Lowes or Home Depot for any leftovers. The main advantage of using boards is that it makes it easier to frame without a mat, and you do not need any extra backing.