There’s No Place Like Home

Backyard Acrylic Sketch

Backyard Acrylic Sketch

If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard; because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with“.

I’m continuing my quest to find the perfect materials for painting on location. This isn’t it, but I’m getting closer.

Primarily, this was a test to see if by using a battery powered projector, I could speed up the initial drawing. I used my iPod Touch to take a photo. I then connected it to my 3M projector which was on a tripod aimed down at the ground, placed my canvas panel on top of my paint box, covered the setup with a thick black light proof cloth, got down on my hands and knees, and traced the projected image with my new Sailor Fude De Marren calligraphy pen filled with Platinum Carbon Black ink. It worked, but it took 20 minutes. I could have sketched it without the projector in 15 minutes and I wouldn’t have to lug around all the extra equipment. So, except for the cool geek factor, I don’t think I’ll be using the projector on location. Besides, as I’ve said before, I’m not really that fond of photo realism anyway.

Here’s the reference photo for comparison.

Backyard Acrylic Sketch Reference Photo

Backyard Acrylic Sketch Reference Photo

I was also testing two other pieces of equipment – my new pen and my newly designed wet canvas carrier system.

Sailor Fude De Marren Calligraphy Pen

Sailor Fude De Marren Calligraphy Pen

This is my new fountain pen. I bought it on Amazon for around $18. I also bought the converter for about $8 and filled it with Platinum Carbon Black ink, my favorite waterproof black ink. Functionally this pen is just the same as the green Sailor CDE calligraphy pen with the 55 degree bent nib. The green one is longer and I had to modify it to make it shorter and add a clip. Anyway, this new blue pen works great with no modification.

Wet Canvas Carrier

Wet Canvas Carrier

This is my new wet canvas carrier. I designed it myself to fit in the lid of my small homemade paint box. The white backing boards are made out of White Corrugated Twinwall Thick Plastic Sheet sign board that I bought at Home Depot. This stuff is great. It’s cheap, lightweight, and best of all plastic which holds up well to tape and paint. I cut a hole in the middle of each board and taped each canvas panel on the back. The two boards are separated by a styrofoam frame and secured for travel with a large rubberband. The beauty of this system is that the canvas panels are attached from the back which means there are no clips or holders protruding beyond the surface of the panel which makes it easy to paint right up to the edges. The other nice thing is that because there is a frame around the panel, I can clip the frame to my tripod with a bulldog clip. This makes it easy to take it on and off. So, I can rotate the canvas or take it completely off to hold in my lap. Here’s a picture of it in use.

Paint Sketch Setup

Paint Sketch Setup

Next time I want to try premixing some colors and storing them in little plastic snap cap jars. I could work faster if I didn’t have to mix on my palette to get light and dark green, light blue, violet, light brown, and gray.

Also next time, I want to work on Gessoboard instead of canvas panel. I prefer the look of a smooth surface. The canvas texture produces little dots of darker color in the low points of the texture. The picture ends up looking grayer than it would if it were painted on a smooth surface.

Jim

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