Prepping surfaces

Since it snowed this weekend it was a great time to hang around my studio and catch up on some non-painting tasks. I like to make my own surfaces. First I prime both sides of the board (usually foam core) with gesso. Then I brush on pumice gel with a foam brush. I sort of follow Susan Ogilvie’s recipe on Dakota Pastels. But I never follow recipes closely, even when I cook (which is why I will never be a pastry chef). Using more or less water to dilute the gel, I can vary the texture and tint the boards. Alternately I sometimes do an underpainting in acrylic and then layer on the pumice gel. Usually the boards require a final coat of gesso on the back side to make them lay flat. Once in a while the texture is too much and I will lightly sand the boards. You can see in the photos how much the boards bend when the gesso coats aren’t balanced. Here are some shots of the progress.

Using all the available surfaces.
Using all the available surfaces.
Prepping boards in my studio.
Prepping boards in my studio.

It wouldn’t be a day in the studio without my loyal companions!

My loyal friends and gentle critics.
My loyal friends and gentle critics.
Snowy weekend. View from my studio. In the winter there's a lovely view of the reservoir.
Snowy weekend-view from my studio. In the winter there’s a lovely view of the reservoir.