Thursday, January 7, 2010

Oil Sketch on Frosted Mylar

Frosted Mylar is an affordable and archieval support if you plan on painting lots of figurative work from life. If you're generally new to doing this kind of life work and don't want to waste a lot of expensive linen during your first sessions, try the frosted Mylar. It's good for open studio sketches and for making preliminary sketches for paintings on more traditional supports. In my case, I was trying out a new pair of binoculars in an open studio situation and I wasn't sure if I would be able to find the right place to set up. (I'm going to blog about binoculars later.)The Mylar comes in a big sheet which costs around $5.00 (the portion shown is a quarter sheet). It's opaque and semi-absorbent - actually, it's a little hard to describe, but the strokes show up well and I especially like the way transparent paint reacts to it. I've taped the sheet onto a board to do the actual painting. I've been wondering how I'd frame this piece - I think I would glue the edges of the Mylar to a white gessoed board of the same size and then put the piece under glass (with a spacer between the glass and the Mylar). Everything I've read about Mylar indicates it's archieval but I might still be inclined to put it under glass and treat it as I would a drawing.The open studio session was three hours, but I wiped off my first head and started a new, smaller version, so this one is at about an hour and a half of painting. My wonderful teacher William Whitaker ( showed his students how to use Mylar a few years ago and since then I've seen other artists using it as well.


Linda Tracey Brandon said...

I had to delete all previous comments because of some spam - sorry - I'll try not to let this happen again.

teresa stieben said...

Regarding framing the Mylar. Don't use glues as most glues are not archival. Rice starch is archival but I don't believe that rice starch would adhere Mylar. I would suggest using clear picture framers corner pockets which secure the art piece at the corners. You attach the corners to the backing then slip the corners of the art into the clear pockets. Then mat so that the pockets are hidden. The mat will also help keep the mylar securely in place as well as giving breathing space between the art and glass.

Another option If you don't want a mat surround is to cut your backing the same size as the Mylar, use quarter inch plastic spacer strips that adheres close to the edge of the glass, spacer side then goes against art work. Technically the spacers will hold the Mylar back from the glass.
Hope this helps.

Marge said...

Where did you purchase the frosted mylar?

Linda Tracey Brandon said...

Marge, I bought it at a local Phoenix art store (Arizona Art Supply) but I'm pretty sure you can get it anywhere online if you google it.