Mylar is a new material I tried out as as support for an oil sketch (I use a brand called Dura-lar). Mylar is a frosted drafting film and I’d read online that it is an excellent material for oil sketches. The surface is smooth but toothy, and grips the paint well. The film is archival (it’s essentially plastic), and creates a stable bond with oil paint.
I started with a drawing on paper, which took the first 4 of 8 sessions with the model. The block-in is below, you can see the full drawing in an earlier post here.
When I was ready to begin my oil sketch, instead of tracing the contours and transferring the drawing to a painting panel, I simply laid the mylar directly over the drawing and painted on the translucent film, with the drawing visible but protected underneath.
the painting was done at night under artificial light. I don’t enjoy painting in color under artificial light, so I planned this as a monochrome sketch. I used Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Umber, and Zinc white to mix puddles of value. I mixed two “strings” (rows of paint puddles) on my palette each session, one string of cool grays and one string of warm grays. This way I could control the temperature of the values, even though I was not using color.
I really enjoyed working on the Mylar surface, it allowed for a lot of control of the paint and offered a surprisingly agreeable drag - not as slick as you might expect. It was perfect material for a sketch, but I would not do a finished painting on it.
Next time I would use drying agent in my medium, as unlike a chalk-gesso panel it’s completely non-absorbent so it took nearly a full week for each paint layer to dry.
There is still one more spot in my upcoming 1-day workshop:
One-Day Intensive: Blocking in the Figure
Saturday, May 21