Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Going Light en Plein Air

Much of my plein air painting is done with only small hikes.  For longer excursions on foot I find I am looking more and more for ways to lighten the load.  Recently I have returned to painting on loose canvas.  I used this approach successfully when travelling further afield by airplane.  For smaller pieces I use oil primed linen canvas pads.

10 Pieces per Pad

Take a sheet off the pad and mount it on a board with clips.  Ready to go.

Common Sizes

These are the size of common frames so they must be mounted on panel.  A straight forward process when you get the hang of it.

If you want to go larger or mount on stretcher bars, cut a piece from primed canvas approximately 2 inches larger than the stretcher frame.

18x24 Stretchers

Then mount the loose canvas taping or marking the size to be painted on a backer board.

18x24 Taped on Backer Board

And you are ready to go.  If you choose to mount the finished painting it can be stretched on the stretcher bars.  The oil paint (or acrylic) is flexible enough in thin layers should you wrap a painted section around the edge of the stretchers, so it won't crack.  You can also mount on a board.  This is my preferred treatment.  I use acrylic medium and a book press to flatten the painting on the surface of the board.  I seal the edge and back of the board to minimize warping.

The loose canvas approach is not only lighter, but requires much less storage space.  As you can see I also paint on loose canvas in the studio some of the time.

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