05/18/2004: "Sailing - Question about paper - More info on Painting on Wood"
Tried to go out sailing tonight but ended up just getting Rozinante ready for the season. My friend DeLynn came with me and we got the 15 year old outboard started after much tinkering, put the mainsail up, I had to run home twice to get stuff I'd forgotten. We put up both the main and the gib to let them air out a bit and after sitting in the harbor all winter the battery to the radio was still going strong. A guy from the Juneau Yacht Club came by and gave us a flyer for the Rum Cup which is a series of thirteen races that takes place during the summer. Basically, I'm completely excited to get out there. DeLynn and I are going to go out on Tuesdays and Thursdays on Roz, and on Fridays on High Noon out of Auk Bay, just like last summer. I love sailing so much! I just have to make sure I don't start getting lazy about the amount of time I've set aside to paint every night.
My friend DeLynn on board Rozinante, my Catalina 22
On another note, another local artist has some questions about colored drawing paper, of which I have no clue. I'll post her question below. From Stacy:
QUESTION ABOUT PAPER
"Iím working with graphite (a little vine charcoal) on watercolor paper. I tried Bristol vellum and likely wonít use it again, didnít work out as Iíd expected. As far as needs go, Iíve been trying to find some high quality paper (green, blue, red, etc.) to use with graphite, charcoal, chalk, most drawing mediums really. Iíve looked on dickblick and other suppliers and havenít had too much luck. Iím hesitant to use pastel paper or other papers, because I donít know much about them. The pastel paper at the Art Dept at the mall is a bit too toothy. Suggestions?"
Also, I'll post the information that John Kramer sent regarding a previous post about painting on wood:
PAINTING ON WOOD
" saw that you had some problems with painting on panel, and I paint almost exclusively on wood of one form or another, and felt I could help you out, I've used email b/c my comments might be a little long for your blog itself.
Particleboard. This is by far the best 'wood' I've found for painting on, it's just sawdust and glue, but it's very dense, and very heavy and it won't warp at all. It takes 3-4 coats of acrylic gesso to cover, or you could use interior acrylic primer and do it in 1-2 coats. Also Krylon makes a spray gesso that works well as does Krylon's spray primer. The boards are pretty thick, but you'll probably still want back supports to ease hanging the end result, I use pine 1x2s for this purpose. I cut the 1x2 (despite the name they are actuall .75" x 1.75") glue them to the back using wood glue and then I've in the past either nailed from the front, nailed from the back, or stapled from the front, in the future I'll be using screws from the front and then using molding paste to cover them up. the one down side is that the edges of the board are a little hard to paint on so you may want to paint them first and then mask them with duct or masking tape).
Masonite. This is good too, it's cheaper than the particleboard, but it does warp as you've found out. I've been getting mine free lately from a professor who works construction, they use 16"x16" masonite panels to pad ceramic tiles for shipping. once all the paint is dry you can correct the warp by putting the panel at the bottom of a very heavy pile (protect the surface first of course). or you can make a pine frame for the back, I haven't tried wood glue as I am not sure if this will hold, but hot glue does. I'm not sure what other fasteners to use, as I get the panels witht he smooth edge, and I think pounding a nail thru that would really crack it. Instead of a frame perhaps just a piece of wood across the back horizontally with a 'D'-ring picture hanger attached to it. Krylon's spray gesso works phenomenally on masonite, just one coat and you ahve a beutiful white surface on which to paint. interior acrylic primer also works well (1-2 coats) and gesso really sucks on
Luan. I don't know if Luan is the name of the tree or some other moniker devised by the lumber companies, but the stuff is pretty good and really cheap. It warps like a wet piece of paper. it could be perfectly straight in the store, and carrying it out to the car, the wind could warp it a little bit (it happened to me recently, but it was really heavy wind). I just add the back supports like I would for particleboard, but if it's warped in one direction more than any other I attach the supports on the side such that the warp bends away from the supports, so that when I nail it together it all straightens out. Interiror acrylic primer is the way to go here it does the job in 1-2 coats gesso takes more, and I haven't yet tried the spray stuff.
Of course all these woods come in a variety of sizes in the lumber store/home improvement 'box' store, and usually can be cut by them (very handy if, like me, you don't own a table saw) I usually cut my 1x2s myself as all I need is a back saw and a mitre box, you don't need to cut them at 45 degree angles. I usually place the 1x2 on the 'fat' side against the panel so there's more surface for the glue to cling to which should prevent breakage in the long run. be careful getting the wood, bring a tape measure and a carpenter's square to ensure that it's the appropriate size (generally what's labeled as 4' x 4' will be an inch or so more or less than that). Youc an also use canvas stretcher bars glued and nailed to your panel as back supports if you prefer, but I've found that it's much cheaper to buy the 1x2s and cut them until you get into very large sizes (like 3-4').
You also mentioned some problems with canvas, I just recently found that canvas painter's drop cloth 8 oz or 10 oz is exactly the same as the canvas I can buy in the art supply stores and much much cheaper. In my neck of the woods (upstate NY) I can buy 5' by 15' of drop cloth for 15 bucks, the same amount of 8oz canvas from the art store would cost at least 30.
Of course I've only been painting for 18 months roughly and on panel for 12 so your mileage may vary, but I felt you might benefit from my knowledge on the subject. " - John Kramer