Saturday, July 24, 2010

Making My Own Hardboard Supports - Again

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!


Dors said...

waiting in patience Jan for your question on framing. Yes I have had work framed and wow so expensive to have it done professionally.

I have never worked with gesso. Very interesting to read about your experiences with it.

I mostly use the humble pencil. LOL

Jan said...

I'm getting to it, Dors! Have a bunch of stuff to do this morning!

I think pencil works on gessoed surfaces also. I may be wrong but think I've read that somewhere so maybe you'll use it one day.

Besides, a pencil in your hands is definitely NOT humble!

sue said...

I used to make my own clothes 30 years ago using a wonderful straightforward sewing machine. I taught myself and really enjoyed making my own patterns etc
Then my machine broke and my ex-husband bought me an all-singing, all-dancing one that I could never get on with.
It stayed in a cupboard till my recent house move when I got it out to hem some curtains. Like yours, I found it needed an overhaul but couldn't face the job.
I mentioned it to my 83 year old neighbour who insisted I took it round for her to look at. Next day I got it back - fully oiled, operational, tensioned and she had covered a bit of fabric with sample stitches to demonstrate everything it could do (in the right hands). Transpires she was head Home Economics teacher for many years in charge of cookery and needlecrafts!! I felt very humbled. Must admit, after hemming the curtains the machine went back into its box and has sat there for nearly 3 years!

Jan said...

My machine is maybe 20 years old or so but has quite a few fancy stitches. Like you, I don't use half of them but they're nice to have when you do need them. You need to haul your machine out again and just play with it - if I'm in the mood, I find it very relaxing to sew.

(May I borrow your neighbor?)

Black Spot said...

I was googling when I came across this post. I know it's old, but I wanted to reply.

I've started using photo frames and cut the hardboard to fit. Without the glass, there's plenty of room for the picture and you can get the back, back on. Photo frames are very cheap from the Pound Shop (I'm from the UK)and they do have some nice plain ones.

Jan/ said...

Thanks so much for your input, it's always nice to have more information even if a post is older!