Carmella Jarvi: Mounting Surfaces with Pastel Painting

Welcome to Artist Palette Productions at Cheap Joe's Art Stuff!

We've talked about some of the different surfaces for pastel. There's paper, gatorfoam, stiff boards, using your color theory and not using light colors. So in this one I'm going to do this photograph - orange and blue are compliments - so I have this nice terracotta red-orange paper. Even though I'm going to do this in the studio, if I wanted to go out and do a plein air painting and I'm sitting in front of the paper I don't want things to blow around.

I can do several different things. I can take my paper and I can actually tape it down to a stiff sturface - or the great thing about a lot of these new boards is I can double-stick tape them. I like the Richeson surfaces because there's a lot of tooth to them and my favorite thing is they are actually made out of gatorfoam as well as hardboard.

The gatorfoam is lightweight, stiff, and done with an acrylic finish so it has tooth but it's waterproof. So if I mess this painting up I can actually rinse it off. I have my backing board that is a really thick gatorfoam. You want to mount this with double-stick tape onto a really stiff surface. If this were not gatorfoam then when I tried to pull this off to frame it I have a chance of bending the board - so it's very important.

I have my archival tape - I like to do everything professional grade - and this is a double stick tape that I have. As you can see I've run some strips of double-stick tape along the back-side here. Ideally you'll want to do this before there's an image on the board.

Once I've laid the tape down, I want to press it down. This double-stick tape will become part of this piece. So when I frame it and I separate the painting from the backing board I'll actually have to cut a piece of archival paper or regular paper to go on the back because the tape is going to be sticky. Dont' try to get it off it just won't work.

What I'm going to do is take all of these off. Now you may not need this many pieces but when I'm doing art and working in the south there's a lot of humidity. So I would rather have more of these than less. But if you have many more than this you'll probably have a more difficult time separating the artwork from the backing board. What I want to do then is take the board and try and get it centered. I can still move it around a little bit. Now I want to press this down - make sure your hands are clean - but ideally I would have a piece of newsprint or a glassine sheet between my hand anhd the surface so I'm not marring up the surface.

Now I want to double check it so I'm going to take my fingers along the edges here and try and separate it. As you can see this is on now. When you're finished with your pastel painting on the gatorfoam, what you're going to do is carefully separate along the edges and pull it up. I've done this a number of times and I've never had the gatorfoam buckle or had any problems with it. Now what's great about this is now I have something that's double-stick taped, and I won't have any problems with the wind or anything like that. It's a great surface.

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