Oil on Carton or Cardboard / Framing / Michaels Canvas Board

Oil painting on carton

Dear visitor,

I thought to share some Information on painting on carton or cardboard.

For over a century it is quite common to use cardboard for oil paintings as well as canvas or wood.
Carl Schuch, Carl Sptzweg and Picasso painted on cardboard, just to name a few famous painters.

The material I use is professional acid-free, 3mm strong binder´s carton, used for bookbinding.
Acid-free cardboard does not dissolve over the years and thus is a very good alternative.

Painting on cardboard is different from painting on canvas, as I find. The carton absorbes the oil quickly, leaving pigment on the surface. With this technic you can paint purely with oil right from the start. For those familiar with oil painting technic, one can completely leave out starting with a thin wash of turps.
On the other hand you can not quite well mix the color on the surface. 
Since the paint gets "dry" very fast you can create different effects due to this which is worth spending some time experimenting. You can overlay colors almost as if you paint with Acrylics with the advantage that your paint on the palette does not dry up, for example.
You can work the pigments almost as pastels, using your fingertips to mix colors on the surface of the painting as well as applying the paint thickly.

I generally prefer to work with a "dry" consistence of paint. 
When I first started to paint with oils, I did not know to put oil paint on a kitchen towel for example, in order to get rid of excess oil and rather add oil if I need to. But that´s just me.

Anyway, hope this is helpful for those of you painting with oils and for those of you enjoying fine art in oils, I hope this is informative and interesting.



6" x 8" (15 cm x 20 cm) frame
This is a regular 6"x 8" and accomodates a stretched canvas and my boards. Please check your local framer.


Michaels canvas board

My first Pochade-box (pronounced poe-shod - it is the french word for rough sketch, done very quickly, with few strokes) unfortunately could contain only one wet panel.
my paintbox
Over the years I designed and made my own paint box which can carry up to four wet panels.
This is very useful when taking the wet painting home or going to another location to paint.

I´m very comfortable with this particular proportion (4:5) and small format 15 cm x 18.5 cm (6" x 7.4") to work on en plein air. I also like to work on 20 cm x 25 cm boards outdoors. Sometimes I even do 30 cm x 40 cm paintings on location with my French easel.

The materials I use are profesional art supplies. Up to the size of 20 cm x 25 cm I sometimes make my own boards.
There are different canvas textures available from ultrasmooth to coarse. For studio works I usually take a smoother quality than for plein air painting depending on the subject.
I make my boards with gessoed linen, acid-free, 3mm strong carton and dispersion glue (ph neutral, solvent-free), both suitable for framing and bookbinding.

The canvas shrinkes a little bit as it dries and creates a slight bend in the panel. In order to equal out the tension in the board I laminate a sheet of "heavy" acid-free paper (185 g/m²) on the backside. Thus my canvas boards are dead level.

My boards are extremely lightweight and reduce shipping cost considerably.

Here is how I mount my canvas on board:

The materials used are the finest quality
professional art supplies

first I prepare the canvas...
drawing the outline on the linen side

...then I apply glue to the canvas ...
"pushing" it into the texture

... working it into the canvas texture horizontally and vertcally.
spreading glue thoroughly

Now I carefully place the carton on the canvas ...
looking for the outline

... working with a roller to get it even and flat 
and to work out any air bubbles
rolling it from the center

...trim off the canvas ...
using a craft blade

...do steps 3 to 6 with acid-free paper...
the backside of the board

and put a stack of heavy books on top
leaving to dry over night

Michael´s canvas board
perfectly fits my box

When I don´t use my selfmade canvas boards, I use professional MDF canvas boards from an art supply store.
MDF board refers to those. 

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