Thursday, August 17, 2017

The brush and the saw

Lately I've been struggling with a 12x20'' painting. Never got to the 'now-we're-getting-somewhere' point. In the same period I sold a 6x20'' painting to a buyer who didn't care for the frame, so I had a spare frame. Of the same width. One plus one is two, eh? I digitally cropped the picture of the original painting to a size that would fit the spare frame and I really liked the result. But there is a difference between Photoshop and reality: cmd z. Once the panel has been sawn in two you can't restore it with a simple keyboard command. 

The 12x20" version, before cropping

I slept over it a few nights and then decided I would go for it. I don't have the tools to get the job done, but I live in a town where they have something called a 'stadswerkplaats', a city work shop. It costs next to nothing, they have all the tools and if you're a bit clumsy (like me), they're always willing to help you.

I just got back from the work shop and placed the new painting in the frame and I must say I'm really pleased with the result.

Which goes to show that a painter needs more tools than just a brush.

Sun & Mist, oil on panel, 6x20"

Now I have a new problem: what to do with the leftover part...

Thursday, August 3, 2017

the marouflé technique

As some of you may know I often make oil sketches on paper in preparation of larger works on panel.  I sell them for a friendly price on my website. My frame maker produces wonderful passe partoux to protect them during transport. They look great behind glass. 

But every now and then a buyer wants a proper frame instead of a passe partout. In cases like that my frame maker applies the so called marouflé technique. The word 'maroufler' is French and it sounds quite poetic, but it actually means 'to rub'. The painting (or the drawing) is fixed to a solid ground, such as MDF. When it's done properly you can't see the difference with a panel painting. 

Beach with Clouds in Backlight, 9.8x15.7", oil on paper, marouflé

A long time ago I used to do it myself, but to be honest, I'm not a real handy man, so the results often left to be wished for. But if you insist on doing it yourself, this is how it goes:
- The ingredients: acrylic binder, a solid surface (MDF, masonite), a spalter, a credit card, books and a sharp knife
- The paper must be slightly larger than the panel you're going to mount it on. Later on in the process you'll have to cut off the parts that stick out.
- Thin the acrylic binder with water 1:1
- Bring it on with the spalter on both surfaces, the board as well as the back side of the paper. Be sure to have a smooth surface. No humps and bumps. Use the credit card to even out irregularities.
- Now gently put the paper on your board and rub (there it is!) the paper surface from the center to the edges
- Let it dry under pressure (this is where the books come in) for about 24 hours.
- Cut off the parts of the paper that stick out with your sharp hobby knife. And when I say sharp I mean razor sharp. A blunt knif will completely ruin your work.
- Done!

I'd try the frame maker.