Thursday, February 18, 2010

Choosing a Good Surface--Lesson Learned

Choosing the best surface for painting is something I am always exploring. There is such a wide range of options. Some of them quite economical and some of them very expensive. I try to balance price and quality. For a long time I've prepared gessoed hardboard panels myself. They are good quality and will last a life time. I never have concerns about selling my paintings that are produced on the panels I make myself. The drawbacks are that they take quite a bit of time to construct and the surface is slippery, unlike painting on canvas. I've stretched my own canvas and purchased pre-stretched canvas. I love the texture of canvas, but it isn't as sturdy as the hardboard panels. I've covered hardboard panels with canvas, and they are very good quality, but it is a lot of work with too many steps. I tend to be rather impatient and would rather paint than prepare panels. I've purchased canvas panels from a number of sources with a wide range of quality. Some are better than others. Today's painting is 5x7 inches on a very cheap canvas panel. I will never paint on a panel of this quality again. It was such poor quality, it felt like I was painting on paper; I'm sure it will disintegrate within a few years. It is a shame, because the painting didn't turn out too bad. There are some decent quality canvas panels, but this was not one of them. Lesson learned--don't skimp on materials! Maybe I'll put it in an E-bay auction for 99 cents or donate it to a worthy cause. What do you think?
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6 comments:

Saundra Lane Galloway said...

I know what you mean Nancy...I've experimented extensively myself. I absolutely love this piece...there is something about your composition, the color choices and subject matter that is lovely and well done...I haven't painted on canvas panels in some years, but I think it will last a good while...my favorite for oils is mdf panel...but then I enjoy the smooth surface...no canvas texture to deal with...however, I still work on several until I am totally satisfied! Have you ever covered your canvas with modeling paste? FUN TEXTURE!! Keep on keeping on!!

Nancy Merkle said...

Hi Saundra--I have used modeling paste before, an interesting surface, but didn't work very well for me. The panel I used for this painting was so bad, I bit the bullet and spent the money to order some Raymar panels. I've heard such good things about them. Now I can't wait for their arrival!

CARMELINA LOUNSBURY said...

hello...this is my first time to your blog...and I just have to say this...
though I understand your 'canvas/surface' dilema....I would just like to say that your paintings are lovely no matter what you work on!
I'll keep on looking here for a bit before heading off to bed...
but I'd like to invite you to my blog for a visit sometime...
ciao

LindaHunt said...

Hi Nancy,
I use canvas panels and enjoy them very much. I have experiemented with various types and particularily like the Raymar panels although they do not come in all the sizes that I like. I have never made my own panels and think that I would find it too time consuming. I am a little impatient and would rather be painting as well. I have enjoyed your work for a long time. I really like your color sense and the interesting compositions that you construct. Thank you very much for leaving a comment on my work.

Saundra Lane Galloway said...

Let me know how those panels work Nancy! I find it awesome that you take the time to experiment...that's how we learn and find our favorite way!!

Nancy Merkle said...

Thanks for the kind words! I'm anxiously awaiting my Raymar panels and will certain give a little report once I've tried them out.