Thursday, March 26, 2009

Pastels on prepared panel

"What are you painting on?" is one of the questions that I'm most often asked. While I paint on many surfaces including, Wallis sanded papers, Sennelier La Carte pastel card, and Richeson premium surfaces to name a few, I prefer the surfaces that I make myself with plenty of irregular texture.

To begin, I use Amersand's Gessobord™. I use the surface rather than a hardboard that can be purchased at your hardware store because Gessobord is sealed and the surface is pH neutral and acid free. I trust the manufacturer has done it's reseach to assure it's product is everything they claim. Next, I apply three more coats of Gesso brushing it on with short cross-hatch stroke. I do not sand between coats. When the gesso is dry I apply several (3 or 4) coats of Golden Acrylic Grounds for Pastels to which I've added additional grit. The grit I use varies depending on how coarse I want my surface. Some of the substances I use are marble dust, pumice, and grog.

Since this takes some time to do, I usually prepare several panels at one time. I've also used this technique on 300# watercolor paper with good results. The surface accepts many layers of color and allows me to achieve a painterly quality.

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