A Blog about Finding Inspiration

"We have a wonderful world to be inspired by and each new day is like an adventure into the unknown, where things that require a second glance can be captured in time on a canvas for anyone to enjoy forever." (Louise Corke)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Creating your own sanded surfaces for pastel paintings. 10 '13

  I spent my scraps free time today creating my own home made pastel surfaces using  recycled 300 lb watercolor paper and Liquitex  Clear Gesso... and I love the results.

I had some partially painted water color paper practice sheets that had been sitting around for years.  I cut them into smaller pastel sizes (9x12, 8x10, 5x7 and aceo).  I used a 4" wide  foam brush to  put one coat of the gesso on  unpainted side of the paper, let it dry  ( about 10 minutes) then came back and added a second coat of gesso atop the first. The gesso stiffened the paper making it even stronger for pastel application, and the grit in the gesso gave just the right amount of  tooth to the surface for the way I apply pastel. I was so please with the results that I repeated the process over the colored side of some acrylic beach washed watercolor scraps.  Again.  It worked beautifully, allowing me to see through the grit to the colored paper.
I can't imagine why I didn't try this sooner

Liquitex Clear Gesso over unpainted watercolor paper
Well actually,  I do know why.  I love working on textured surfaces. ..  the more texture the better,  and have tried applying grounds etc. to make my own.   I usually find it all too messy and time consuming, so I wind up opting for more the convenient, albeit smoother, manufactures brands of sanded papers .  This is a classic example of what I meant when I confessed, in yesterdays post, that I tend to put off  all but the painting until later. I read first read about the Liquitex process over a year ago in Karen Margulis 9/12/12 blog post.  And I  heard about it again this summer  from another pastel artist in the Charleston art Guild.  Both said that it was a fast, easy, and inexpensive way to create one's own textured surfaces.  Even with those voices to recommend the process, I  took no action beyond purchasing the Clear Gesso .  I have been on a roll with my painting this year, and I wasn't about to let anything like the possibility of a better surface get in the way of expressing  my vision.

Liquitex Clear Gesso over recycled  beach wash watercolor paper
 Fortunately the universe has intervened with a mandate that I put off painting  for a short while... just long enough to force me to think through what supplies I will  need for my painting a day project I will begin next month.  In less than the time that it took me to write this post,  I was able to create all the  pastel paper I will need for  next month, and saved a lot of money in the process.   Sometimes you don't know what you're missing until it arrives on your door step.

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