How I Create Large Original Paintings

Creating an original painting is as simple or involved as one chooses it to be, and there are numerous methods and materials by which it can be accomplished.  The process I use for smaller paintings is very straight forward.  I typically prepare and prime a piece of hardboard and paint directly on that.  My process for creating larger sized original paintings is rather involved and comprehensive, but it’s very rewarding.  While the primary intention is to create inspiring artwork that has meaning and purpose, I also place high priority on ensuring that the physical product is of superior quality.  Before any painting starts, I make or purchase a hardboard panel with a wood frame backing.  The wood frame backing prevents the hardboard panel from warping over time, and of course adds significant durability.

Once I have a completed hardboard panel ready to go I can either prime the panel and use that as my painting surface, or adhere a canvas to the panel to create a canvas wrapped panel.  I tend to use hardboard panels (without canvas) for paintings that will require very fine details since the hardboard surface is smoother than canvas, and I often use the canvas wrapped panels for larger paintings where less detail is required.  I really enjoy the look, feel, and overall texture of canvas when it comes to the larger paintings – especially for landscapes.

The next step in creating the canvas wrapped panels is to get out the roll of cotton canvas and cut a piece to size. The canvas is then adhered to the hardboard panel and the corners are neatly cut, folded, glued, and stapled.  Next, I apply a final coat of primer to the canvas, and now have a durable high quality canvas board ready for the next moment of inspiration.  I started using the canvas boards recently, as opposed to stretched canvas, because I really like the rigidity and durability they provide, and with the hardboard backing the entire canvas surface I don’t worry about the canvas/painting getting punctured in some unfortunate incident.

Next comes the challenging yet rewarding process of transferring my inspiration and vision to the prepared surface with paint and brush.  This can go from one moment of feeling like it’s my best work ever to another moment of wanting to throw the whole thing in the trash.  It’s undoubtedly a true test of patience, endurance, and self-assurance.  One that usually, but not always, ends with a finished painting that I take great delight in sharing with others.

Once the paint has dried I coat the surface with varnish to enrich the color saturation and protect the finished painting for years to come.  I appreciate your interest in the behind-the-scenes details of my work, and I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about it!


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