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Painting on Masonite

Recently, I had the opportunity to try my hand at painting on a surface called Masonite. I was given a stack of Masonite Panels by my Dad for my birthday. Masonite is a type of hardboard, a kind of engineered wood, which is made of steam-cooked and pressure-molded wood fibers in a process patented by William H. Mason. It is also called Quartrboard, karlit, and pressboard.

Here are two paintings I recently completed on Masonite. The darker, Tonalist-type painting of the trees, lake and sky was started while performing a demo during a lesson for a small group I offered in my local community this past Sunday.

Masonite is a little less porous than the birch panels I've been using lately so it may not require the use of a base painting of Gesso but I did apply a layer mainly because I really enjoy the textures that can be created among the brush-marks in the Gesso.

There are some notable benefits of Masonite over other panels: It is less likely to warp or splinter, there is no need for sanding and it is relatively strong and easy to transport. Some potential concerns include: We may not understand how durable it is over really long periods of time, it can dent and break near the corners and edges if struck and it does require a hanging system that attaches to the frame it is adorned by.

The more I learn about oil painting through my own personal experience and by reading and listening to stories about the works of other artists the more I am convinced this type of art can be practiced on a surprisingly wide range of different surfaces. Some consideration needs to be given about the archival properties of the surface to ensure it matches the intended use of the art but these paintings can in fact be created on nearly any surface and it is kind of fun to experiment in this regard.

Thanks for taking the time to view these rather random thoughts. Have great day!

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