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Recent Figure Drawings: Mary and Bilge

Study of Mary
14 x 17 inches, graphite on paper 
12 hour pose

Now that I offer 3 open figure sessions at my studio every week, I myself am doing figure study 12 hours per week!

The above pose we have decided to continue for a couple more weeks, and I am trying an experiment: painting a monochrome oil study of the pose in oil paint on mylar, which is a frosted sheet of plastic film designed for drafting.I usually use it for preparatory countour drawings for my oil paintings.

I use Dura-Lar Matte 2-sided film (be careful not to accidently buy the clear acetate in similar packaging, an expensive mistake!)

The film has nice tooth, creates a good bond with the oil paint, and is an affordable, portable material for oil sketches. Also, it’s translucent, so instead of transferring the contours of my drawing to a canvas or panel, I simply tape the mylar over my drawing and paint right over the pencil study I can see through it. So far I really like the feel of the paint handling on the film, and I plan to use it the next time I work outside. I’ll post photos of the finished painting study in a couple more weeks.


Study of Bilge
14 x 17 inches, graphite on paper
12 hour pose 

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Reader Comments (2)

Very interesting using mylar. I've never actually researched using mylar as the canvas for my oil painting because I never though of it. I would think that, being a plastic, it would break down over the years. So I wonder, how does it stand up to aging?

Steve at Art Your Leisure

August 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Actually it's the exact opposite - plastic does NOT break down, which is why it's so bad for the environment :) Mylar is a very stable, archival surface, and creates a strong bond with oil paint. I am hearing of more and more artists using it for oil studies and oil sketches, as a lightweight, cheap, and archival surface. It's flexible though, so you mount it to a rigid support to frame it,

August 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSadie
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