I'm again making some more of those hardboard painting supports. When I was looking for frames to frame my art for the gallery, I found some odd-sized frames at really good prices so I bought those too. I figured I could paint to fit the frames since frames are notoriously expensive.
So, I'm s-l-o-w-l-y building up the layers of gesso and it always takes so much time for the layers to dry. Well, dry isn't exactly the right word. I got frustrated with the drying time and did a search to find out why I had to wait so long between layers. After all, the gesso appeared to be completely dry.
Again, it's not that the gesso has to dry but it does have to cure. I'm using acrylic gesso, by the way, and apparently, acrylics of any kind dry from the outside in and that takes a while. They initially form a skin over the surface of the paint/gesso then it takes quite a while for the interior paint to dry. How long depends on the thickness of the application, the temperature and the humidity level.
So, if the gesso is not allowed to dry/cure completely, it may crack or may not adhere to the surface of the hardboard well. It would be a major disaster if you painted on a poorly dried support and your painting cracked or fell off with the gesso! So, I'm trying to be patient here.
All in all, the actual work of making these panels is really negligible as far as I'm concerned and I can certainly find something to do while the panels dry for a few hours. This is true especially in light of the huge savings over "store-bought" panels and the freedom to use those odd-sized frames!
Oh, speaking of frames, please check back later as I have some questions for all of you - artist or not. If you've ever had something framed then I need your input!