painting on paper
So, I have this commission to do and the client, a spa in central Texas, wants the three paintings painted on paper so they can be matted and framed. The image size is unusually large for paper, 25 1/4" x 37 1/4", and since I've ever only painted in acrylic on rigid surfaces and canvas I could see that this was going to be a learning curve for me.
On Friday I went to Opus so I could see what's available and pick the brains of the employees. The thickest, least absorbent paper I could find was illustration board, but it's not archival, so I ended up buying an 8" x 8" pad of Rising Stonehenge (100% cotton 250gsm) with which to experiment. Certain papers were not available to me as they weren't available in large sizes.
Yesterday I applied two coats of gesso to a sheet of the Stonehenge and painted a teeny-tiny (4 1/4" x 4 1/4") house portrait on it to see how it worked. I was pleased with the results. The gesso adds a bit of texture to the ultra-smooth surface and after the painting was complete and dry there was no buckling. Working exponentially larger might be a different matter but I'm confident enough to buy the large sheets now and forge ahead. Ellen let me know that using gesso with calcium carbonate on flexible surfaces can cause cracking when dry. (See? Facebook is a good thing.) Thanks, Ellen.
If anyone has any experience in painting in acrylic on large sheets of paper I'd love your feedback.
The little house painting is available here.