Monday, May 5, 2008


Yesterday I built the panels for my next/final three paintings for the upcoming show. I thought people may be interested in the process behind the construction of these panels. I use 1/4" Birch plywood for the actual surface and I build the frame/backing out of 1x2" "Select Pine". I sometimes use Aspen or some other hardwood, but generally the "select" pine works well if I can find enough straight boards at the store. It is a light-weight wood that is still strong and pretty durable. On the diagram, the lines that are sticking out all around the frame are nails. I glue the panel on top of a frame like this and clamp it all around, usually putting a gallon of paint or something heavy in the center to make sure the panel adheres to the middle as well as the edges. Then I sand the edges, as usually the panel itself is slightly larger than the frame - after sanded it usually matches up. Then I usually put between 8-10 thick coats of Gesso (prime) on the panel. This is a little overkill, but I enjoy the surface qualities that are achieved with this quantity of paint. After gesso-ing I sand it down with a orbital sander and wipe off the dust with a damp towel. Then I'm ready to paint. Gesso-ing is by far my least favorite part of the entire process. After the painting is finished and dry, I paint the edges with a neutral color.

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