Car Painting

Winter Geometry
10 x 12

Kananaskis View 10 x 12  - Oil on paper
Seriously cold outside

The passenger seat
I've been doing a lot of painting in my car lately.  I don't know why I didn't attempt this before this year, but I'm certainly hooked now.  

The past few times I've used my new pochade box and I'll post the paintings from those trips another time (the box is a wonder!) But before I bought the box, I was using a simple artists' clipboard for my outings.  You can see it in the top photo.  It has a sturdy clamp at the top and a giant rubber band around the bottom to hold the painting in place.   I hold it on my lap against the steering wheel.

I've also been experimenting with different surfaces and have discovered that gessoed watercolour paper is a wonderful support for oil paints.  It allows me to achieve a variety of edges that are unlike those that I get on linen, canvas or board.   To prepare the paper, I coat it with several layers of acrylic gesso on both the front and back side.  After these have dried for several days to ensure that there is no moisture left in the surface, they are ready to use.  The nice thing about the paper is that it is light and easy to store.   Paper also doesn't feel as precious as a piece of linen and so I find that I experiment more and paint more spontaneously than I would on an expensive support.  If the painting works out, I let it dry thoroughly and then mount it on a panel and varnish it.  It can be framed like any other oil painting and it doesn't need glass over it.  If the painting doesn't work - no big loss.

Getting out of the studio is refreshing for the eyes and the creative spirit.  After a day of painting the landscape from life, I return to indoor painting with new inspiration and vigour.  If you've never tried it, load up your car and head out.  Don't be surprised if you get hooked, too.

Happy painting!


Brigitte Desbois said…
I've been thinking of doing that for a long time. Makes me want to go out there straight away!
Hi Brigitte! If you're ever in Calgary, we should go out and do some car painting together. It's been too long.
Denise Rose said…
Hey Ingrid, I was wondering if the watercolor paper that has been treated as you described and then painted on with oils dries flat? I always wanted to try this but wasn't sure I would be able to have it dry flat enough to glue to a panel if I liked the finished work. Any words of wisdom you have on this is appreciated! I would love to try it!
Hi Denise,
I use 140lb watercolour paper and it has stayed totally flat. I find it less tricky to glue to a panel than a piece of canvas!
I hope you have as much fun with it as I do.

Denise Rose said…
Okay thanks! I am going to give it a try. I have milder weather that you usually but I would like to try a different surface sometime. I appreciate the advice!