When I first started doing my live paintings, I used canvasses. The problem was one of affordability. I either did smaller paintings that were probably too small to be done in front of an audience or I would have had to charge so much to do them because of the canvas prices that many people couldn’t have afforded to bring me it. It was a catch 22.
Then one day, while watching some videos I saw my Facebook friend Scott Erickson doing some paintings. Scott is the artists in residence at Ecclesia in Houston and he’s incredible. If you haven’t seen his work, you need to check him out. What I found was Scott paints on hardboard or Masonite panels. Many artists do this but I hadn’t really considered it before.
There are tremendous advantages to painting this way. It’s inexpensive, I can now paint up to probably a seven foot painting (I could go to 8 but my easel won’t hold a piece that large) though most of my pieces are 2 to four feet. Another advantage is when traveling by air, I don’t need to try to carry my canvasses with me. When I get into town, I simply get my host to take me to Home Depot or Lowes and they will cut the pieces to the size I need free or very inexpensively. It really saves money, so I can stay more affordable and it provides a great and durable work surface.
The only downside to masonite is it needs to be framed to be hung. I usually leave my paintings behind or occasionally sell them but it was kind of tough to tell people how to hang them fortunately once again, Scott Erickson saves the day with this video. I use different dimensions than Scott uses but if you measure your piece, you should be able to make a successful frame by following his instructions. Thanks Scott!