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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Pastel Supplies 101: Support Boards

'Back to Iceland'          5x7       plein air pastel         ©Karen Margulis
available $50
 I am counting down to my daughter's wedding. The big day is next week and I have a list of things to do to get ready. I don't know how much painting will get done so I will be sharing some paintings that I haven't yet shared along with some FAQ about pastels supplies.

Today's question comes from C who asks:
I am curious what type of foam board you use to attach your paper to while working in your studio and why do you choose a black color? I notice that your tape is white. Why do you like this tape and what is it?

Using foamcore as a support board
I rarely work on premounted pastel paper so I need something to attach my paper to while I paint....a support board. You can purchase drawing boards made of wood with a built in clip. These are great but I like to leave my paintings on the boards until I am satisfied with the finish. This makes the wood boards too expensive. Instead I prefer to use light weight foamcore boards. Here's my secret:

I get my foam boards at the Dollar Tree. They are decent quality and come in both black and white. The boards are 20x30 which is the perfect size to accommodate my paper and reference materials.

A selection of used foam core boards used for support boards
I use both the back and white boards interchangeably. It depends on what I have available. I do prefer the black boards for plein air because the black cuts down on the glare. Other than that I have no preference. Since the boards are only $1 I use them for many things in the studio. Note that it isn't archival so I don't use it for any framing duties!

  • I store large paintings on a board and stack them against a wall in my studio
  • I make foamcore sandwiches to ship paintings
  •  As protection for framed paintings when transporting them
  •  Cut to size to place in clear bags for painting display.
  •  Make visual aid posters for my workshops
  • I cut and score a piece of foamcore to make a tray to collect dust at my easel
  • I use and reuse the foamcore until it falls apart and then it goes into the recycle bin.
I will address the use of TAPE in my next post. I welcome your questions about pastel supplies!

Today's painting: This is a 5x7 plein air study I painted last summer when I was visiting a dear friend in Iceland.


Debbie Strickland said...

Doesnt the tape peel off the goam core covering when you go to remove the painting?

Karen said...

No. I use artist tape and it comes off easily. More on tape in the next post!

pamit said...

Love your "basic supplies" advice as I am just getting started with pastels. Question: I know in your demos you're standing up - do you work standing up otherwise? I'm setting up a spare room as a studio and considering getting a tiltable drafting table to work on....hmmm. I have an easel, but confess I have yet to use it :-)

Linda Kriegel said...

Thanks for the info about foam core boards and where to get them inexpensively!! Good luck with the wedding! I'm sure it will be fabulous!! Be sure to enjoy it and leave the unexpected stuff up to God! Lol