Going Back to (high) School



I'm starting a rather ambitious new project -- a painting. 

"Yay!", you say.

And "Yay!", I say too, despite quite possibly being the only art director ever to complete four years of art college without laying a drop of paint on a canvas.

But I did in high school, thanks to my beloved art teacher Mrs Calleja, and I remember the perils of paint well.

So much so that before I even bought my supplies, I made a list of potential pitfalls to take with me to the store. There, I confirmed that I'd have to paint on paper -- water based paints like gouache don't adhere well to primed canvases and also need to be framed behind glass for the most part (also more challenging with canvases). And that watercolour paper still buckles and ripples when you paint on it. (So much for there being technological advances in the 25 odd years -- ouch -- since high school.) 

Thankfully, Mrs Calleja taught us how to stretch paper one semester and I still sort of remembered. So today, I broke out the masonite board, paper, sponge and water and gave it a go.

First, I cut sample papers to size. (I'm starting small to get the feel of painting again before I tackle the huge painting I have planned.) Then, I soaked them in cool water for a few minutes. Meanwhile, I cut pieces of gummed paper tape a little bit longer than the width and height of each paper. I let the excess water drip off my sheet of paper and flattened it onto my board, wiping it down with a sponge to get rid of any air bubbles and absorb extra water. Then, I wet the tape and stuck down each side, overlapping the paper edge by about 1/2" on all sides (also running over each tape with the sponge to get rid of water and bubbles.)

Now, it will dry. And hopefully, if I've done it right, be ready for painting.

I'll let you know if I was really worthy of that A in art class :)