Sunday, February 26, 2012

Plein Air Tips ...An Easy Way to Mount Pastel Paper

'The Peaceful Place' 9x12 pastel plein air study
purchase painting $145

I am getting excited for the 1st Annual Plein Air Convention in April. I am looking forward to learning from the world's top artists and have the opportunity to paint the Southwest again. I love to paint en plein air but don't get out as often as I would like. I have been out enough to go through several different set-ups for my equipment. I'm not sure I have the final answer for the best plein air set-up but I do have some tips that I have learned and I will be sharing in a series of plein air tips blog posts.
Today's post I will share a tip for mounting pastel paper. The painting above was done at a workshop with Richard McKinley in Hope Valley California. I had my Uart paper professionally dry mounted to rag museum board. It was a wonderful surface to take out into the field but was very expensive. I needed a way to have a rigid painting surface that wouldn't cost so much for my quick field studies. I found it with Crescent Perfect Mount Self-Adhesive Mounting Board.

'Hope Valley Autumn Study' 8x10 pastel
paper is mounted to Crescent perfect Mount Self-Adhesive board

When painting plein air with pastels it is nice to have a rigid painting surface instead of flimsy pastel papers. You could use ready made boards such as Pastelbord and several papers come pre-mounted. These are all convenient but can be pricey. I wanted a way to mount my own favorite papers but didn't want to deal with adhesives and sprays.
The Crescent Self-Adhesive Mounting board is perfect.
  • It is acid free and comes in 3 thicknesses. I like the 1/16" thickness.
  • It comes in several sizes. I like to get a big sheet and cut it to the sizes I need. It cuts easily with a utility knife.
  • All you do is peel the backing, place your paper on the sticky side and burnish to form the bond. There is a review on Blick's website that details how to get a perfect mount Read HERE. Now you have a nice firm painting surface for a bargain price!
  • Please note that this board is acid free and the adhesive is PH neutral but they have a disclaimer that it shouldn't be used for valuable art. I am not an expert on archival methods so I am not sure how archival it is. However it works great for field studies and they are light weight which is important for plein air.
I will be posting a plein air tip each week so be sure to sign up for email updates!

10 comments:

Jana Hübner said...

Your pastel work is amazing!

Karen said...

Thank you so much Jana! I appreciate you visiting my blog and I am glad you are enjoying my work!

Markus Rydh said...

Great tip and great paintings!

Does the mounting work well with wet underpainting?

Karen said...

Thank you Markus! This mounting board is great for underpaintings. I've done water and solvent based underpaintings and the paper stays secure to the board.

Paula Campbell said...

Karen, when you attach & burnish the paper to the board, do you need to worry about disturbing the tooth of the paper?

Karen said...

Paula,
The way I do it is to put the backing paper from the board on top of the pastel paper before I burnish. I only press and rub with my hands so really the surface is protected. I haven't had any problems.

Popsu7 said...

These are gorgeous, as always! I sat down for five minutes and learned so much from your blog!

JulieMayser said...

Karen, have you had any experience with mounting a pastel surface that has already wrinkled? I used a water underpainting on a Canson surface, and on an old piece of Ersta 7.0. Both wrinkled. I hate to throw out the Ersta especially. Any suggestions?
Love your blog!!!

Julie Mayser

Natasha said...

So what do you do for archival needs?

Karen said...

Natasha this is an older post. I no longer use the crescent mount board. I don't mount my paper at all. It is mounted with framing tape to archival foamier during framing.