How I prepare painting surfaces


For pochade painting I use thin board, normally 3mm MDF. This is how I prepare it for a total cost of 15p (£0.15) a board. Photos first:

At the local merchant purchase one sheet of 3mm MDF

At the local merchant purchase one sheet of 3mm MDF

Get them to slice it into 4 equal lengths 310mm wide

Get them to slice it into 4 equal lengths 310mm wide

At home with a roller give the slices 3 coats of acrylic gesso

At home with a roller give the slices 3 coats of acrylic gesso

Couple of hours later slice the other way in various widths

Couple of hours later slice the other way in various widths

Finish up with some 210x300, 300x300 and some 300x400. Total of 40

Finish up with some 200x310, 310x310 and some 310x400. Total of 40

Finally rub in thin coat of cromatic grey oil paint thinned with artist's turps.

Finally rub in thin coat of cromatic grey oil paint thinned with artist's turps.

Also I sand the dry gesso surface before putting on the thin layer of colour. I do this mostly because otherwise the very fine sharp surface acts like sandpaper and wears away the brushes very quickly, I find – at least on the initial wash.

The thinned coat of neutral paint simply takes the brightness off the white surface and I find it more condusive to paint from the outset in a full tonal range. Proper turps is important if you are thinning the paint a lot.

And that’s it. Simples!

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~ by noelgarner on September 19, 2009.

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