Sunday, June 21, 2009

Artomat WIP* #1 - The Base Coat

My Artomat blocks came in the mail this week, and I've been so excited about getting started on them. I thought I'd show the blocks as they progress.

Here's step one: 50 plain wood blocks that need 2 coats of gesso before I can paint on them. The gesso gives them a smooth, bright white surface that I like for painting. It takes 2 thin coats to cover the blocks evenly.

I'm using a 6-inch wide putty knife to apply the gesso. A brush makes, well, brushstrokes in the gesso that I don't want. The putty knife keeps the surface nice and smooth.

It only took about an hour to cover all the blocks once. I'll let them dry overnight and apply a second coat.

For my prototypes, I left the sides unpainted. I'm not sure if I'll do that for the finals or if I'll paint the sides. Depends on how messy I get while painting, probably.

6/22 followup: The first coat of gesso dried so quickly that I put the second coat on last night. They look much better with a second coat. And this morning, I painted the sides of a few blocks to see how that looked. And the verdict is...the sides need to be painted. I was sloppy with gessoing the tops, so the sides are messy. They really do look cleaner with the sides painted.

* WIP = work in progress

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