|The Green Gate, 12x9 pastel on board|
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.