Sunday, December 7, 2014

Arches oil paper

Chinese bowl and berries
8 x 10
I've been playing around with Arches oil paper lately and am really enjoying the surface.
Like watercolour paper, there's a wonderful bright whiteness to it which glows through the paint and adds vibrance to the colours.

Another nice quality of the paper is the feeling of irregularity in its surface texture.  Unlike the monotony of machine-woven canvas, there's a nostalgic, random look to the surface that integrates beautifully with the brushstrokes.  It's also easy to build a rich, painterly surface on it; the layers adhere well and it's easy to get to impasto paint quickly from a scruffy start.  I think that will make it really useful for plein air studies and figure sketches.

I'm still not sure how I'll mount this stuff, though.  I experimented by adhering a sheet to a panel in the heat press, using BEVA film as the adhesive.  This is my method for mounting linen to panel, but it didn't work for the Arches paper.  The application of heat changed the working quality of the paper, making it more absorbent and flattening the texture.  Probably, it would ruin its archival quality, but I'm just guessing about that.

Next I'll try cold mounting the paper with glue, and, if that still flattens the texture too much, I think I'll just tack it with acid-free tape to a panel and pop it into a frame.  It lies very flat, so I don't see a problem with that method unless it's hung in a humid bathroom.  Then, all bets are off.

Happy painting!


Sharon Lynn Williams said...

Hi Ingrid: I have been using this oil paper for traveling for the last 2 years. What I do is just tape it to a panel with curled masking tape on the back. If the painting is a keeper then I just mount it on another prepped panel with soft gel gloss and put it under a stack of books. Works great. I find I like the surface better gessoed, as I like to do a thin wet undepainting first, and the paper is too absorbent for that technique IMHO.

Ingrid Christensen said...

That's really helpful. Thanks, Sharon!
It sure beats carrying all those panels. Do you travel with a quick dry medium?

Karen Oliver said...

Thanks for the information Sharon and Ingrid. I was looking for something a little easier to travel with and store.

Ingrid Christensen said...

Hi Karen,
I'm trying something completely different in Maui right now: stone paper. It's made from limestone!
I'm enjoying it, though I haven't tried it with oils; I'm using water media. It's refreshing to try something new.