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  1. #1
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    Painting Surface

    I have an itch lately to create a life-sized painting of one of my monster designs, but I don't know how I would go about doing this. I have a huge sheet of butcher paper that may be able to cut it if I gesso it and use only acrylic paint, and maybe apply oils on top of the dried gesso and acrylic layers once I think it's safe to do so. Before I start on this, I'd like to know if this seems like a doomed plan or something that might last for a bit. The size i'm thinking is roughly the size of two average doors side by side. If the paper (it doesn't seem to be very good quality to me, erasing it for a little bit makes the fibers in the paper stick up) doesn't look like it'll hold out, what other alternatives could I turn to? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


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  3. #2
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    butcher paper wouldn't be too hot of an idea.

    i'd just buy unstretched canvas, it's about $6-7 per yard from most distributors. if you have your own gesso and some low-level woodworking skills you can make your own frame, stretch it, and prime it yourself (as largescale prestretched canvases are murder to buy)

    i really suggest investing a bit of money into using something higher quality than butcher paper at the very least. butcher paper tends to not be acid-free or archival safe, meaning it'll turn yellow in time and fall apart.

  4. #3
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    D'oh! I'd completely forgotten about that! Thanks for the quick response, I'll have to pick some up soon.

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  6. #5
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    4x8 would be a little small for what he is looking for. I agree with Grief. Go with canvas. It is that lightest and studiest stuff you will find for use with those proportions.
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  7. #6
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    i really suggest investing a bit of money into using something higher quality than butcher paper at the very least. butcher paper tends to not be acid-free or archival safe, meaning it'll turn yellow in time and fall apart
    I would say the flimsyness of butcher paper would be far more of a problem, especially for something larger than, say, 9x12 inches. For something giant, good lord no. Canvas is the most likely of choices, though be prepared for headaches there as well. Stretching and managing a piece that size can be a real bitch. You could just tack it to the wall, though you'll have to stretch it eventually if you ever want to show it. Stretcher bars tend to warp sometimes on large scale work, and it ain't fun when you're dealing with an 8 foot painting.

    If you can find a panel large enough or don't mind joining multiple panels, that may be the best option. Though they will be heavy and more difficult to store away...
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    Some art stores carry large, sturdy paper, such as Stonehenge. This might be best for a first time working large, because you can roll it up for storage or dispose of it easily. Ask your local art store what sizes and types of paper they carry, and ask to see samples.
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  9. #8
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    I initially thought the butcher paper would be alright if I applied enough gesso but on second thought the canvas idea does seem much more appealing. I hadn't considered heavy paper that Seedling suggested, I didn't know they made sheets that large >_>

    I'll probably be picking up some unstretched canvas at a local art store tomorrow. Driving myself, that is! Got my license an hour ago! : D

    Hehe, thank you all for the suggestions. About the wood, I'd wanted for a while to try painting on a surface other than just canvas or paper, so I may pick some small pieces up to experiment a bit.

  10. #9
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    About the wood, I'd wanted for a while to try painting on a surface other than just canvas or paper, so I may pick some small pieces up to experiment a bit.
    if you do, make sure it's a hard wood. Soft woods like pine are generally awful surfaces for painting. Personally, I recommend birch ply. Maple's good too.
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  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavePalumbo View Post
    if you do, make sure it's a hard wood. Soft woods like pine are generally awful surfaces for painting. Personally, I recommend birch ply. Maple's good too.
    I'll take note of that.

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