Thursday, March 31, 2011

New WIP, Canson Board and NYC trip

I am currently working on a new WIP, another Venetian mascarone. I am calling this one "The Gate Keeper" ( there will be ironwork on the bottom right corner that resembles a gate). My challenge /learning for this painting is the use of Canson Watercolor Board: Arches 140 lb glued to a rigid backing. This is the surface that Krista Hasson has used ( most successfully!) in her latest paintings.

The reference for this painting is again one of my own photos from trips to Venice.The composition is probably not too orthodox - the oblique line on the left hand side cutting the corner is most likely  a composition "no-no", but I really liked the angle at which the mascarone (the carved head) is presented. There is not much to see yet: I have painted most of the hair, I have started the beard...the eyes and the nose will be the scary part:-(  

It is 16" X 20" on the Canson board. Do I like this surface? Not sure is certainly not the same as regular Arches 140 dries very quickly and I have had to change my usual method of working - I don't seem to be able to blend as easily - During the first hour that I worked on this surface, I kept getting hard water lines. Nevertheless, I like the rigid support. How will I frame this if it turns out ok? If I am brave, I will varnish it and frame it as an oil or acrylic. If  I feel less adventurous, I may try to mat it and frame it as a regular watercolor...I am not sure if the thickness of this board will have an impact on the matting  ( if the matting is larger than the board, will there be a visible difference in thickness where the board ends?)

Unfortunately, I won't be able to work on this piece during the next few days. I am flying to NYC to visit my daughter:-) The weather is not supposed to be too great over the weekend, but that won't matter. I am planning a trip to Dick Blick that I just loved last fall when I was NYC. 

Wishing you a great evening!


  1. Bravo! I am so glad you decided to give it a try. I am loving this already :) I found the board difficult to work with at first, but stick with it it gets better.
    You have to varnish just so you know what it is like. If you would like some help drop me an email when you are ready and I will tell you my method.

  2. Krista, you are an angel! thank you!

    I played with some varnish this week: I glued an old watercolor to an Ampersand gessoboard and used Krylon fixative followed by Krylon gloss varnish... I really wanted to try the Golden varnish, but my supplier was out of the gloss and I was impatient:-) The Krylon spray varnish is really wicked stuff; ...I used 7-8 layers, but since I am not even sure what the varnished watercolor is supposed to look like, I don't know if that was too many or too few layers:-) The Golden product seems to be more recommended for this use...

  3. I will enjoy watching this one come to life. Enjoy your trip!

  4. Thank you, Vicki! I will keep my fingers really crossed when I start painting the eyes:-)
    I am looking forward to my trip - this time, I will try to get to the Bronx zoo - I intend to take lots of pictures!

  5. Christiane - if you decide to mat and frame under glass - since you are working on board, you will have to "sink mount" the painting. You lay the mat over like any other painting, but you will have to cut foam core to fill from the edge of the board to the edge of the mat. It's not hard! You must also make sure that you get a deep enough rabet (the depth at the edge of the frame where the backing goes) to accomodate the thickness of the mat + board + backing board. Hope you have an enjoyable trip to NYC.

  6. Deb, I would not have thought of doing that!Thank you!What would I do without all my generous and smart blogging friends!

  7. I love statuary of any kind but haven't tried it in watercolour yet. I have some of this board but have not had a chance to put it through its paces yet. It looks like you're mastering any unique properties well in this piece.

    NYC and Blick's. I'm envious.

  8. This is going to be another winner, Christiane. I haven't tried this board yet...several friends on Artcolony us it though and really like it's smoothness. I wouldn't have know about sinking the mount either...why can't it just be as simple as pie?

    Have a fun time visiting in NYC. My son and family were there last weekend and nearly froze their buns off. It was just in the 30's/40's, but with the dampness they just about died! We've had such a mild spring in Texas we've been in tee's and shorts (all but a few days last week) so that cold stuff is a shock! I even heard there might be snow in places. Have fun at Dick Blicks...lucky you. We're going when the AC bunch goes to Chicago in June and I can hardly wait! Tell us whay you bought when you get home.

  9. Thank you, Jeanette. This surface is very interesting: the paint does not react the way it does on regular CP 140 lb some ways it is more like a rough surface.

    Mollie, we had a very nice weekend in New York. Today is a bit colder and rainy...still warmer than what we have been getting in Ottawa:-) I visited Dick Blicks yesterday and bought a nice supply of Ampersand gessoboard ( the 3/4" cradled)- I want to use them to mount and then varnish my watercolors. I hope this will turn out ok. I also bought some M. Graham is not available in Ottawa and I have heard that their yellows and pinks are super. If I like the paint, I will then order online.