Sunday, February 13, 2011
I mentioned "squaring up a painting to a student recently and they didn't know what I meant. Here is what that is.
Above is a sketch I did for a larger painting that I am working on. The painted sketch is on a panel 14" by 24" and I am squaring it up to 22" by 36" ( Yes, I know the larger is of an inch off, but I wanted an even number measurement in the large stretchers, They may make 21" stretchers but I had the 22" in inventory.). Painters have been using this method since at least the renaissance and probably longer. In the days of apprenticed labor, this would have been done for me by a studio boy.
I let the sketch dry, since I used Liquin that happened pretty quickly. Then I marked off 3" squares starting in the upper left hand corner of the sketch using a soft black pencil. Then I numbered the leftmost vertical squares and lettered the uppermost horizontal hand squares. That way I can find coordinates just like on a map or a game of battleship.
I stretched the larger canvas and put 3 1/2" squares on that, again starting in the upper left hand corner so that the two canvasses would be identical, but bearing different sized squares. Using the larger squares increased the size of the picture by 1 and 1/2" but if I had made the squares on the larger canvas 6" inches across I would have doubled it's size.
Tomorrow I will lay draw the painting onto the canvas using burnt sienna. I can look at my sketch and see for instance what goes on in square C6. This sounds pretty time consuming but actually it goes very quickly. If I skip this step when enlarging paintings I always regret it. I end up installing problems in the larger one that have to be dealt with later, at a cost in time.
I will probably alter the sketch as I refine it on the larger canvas, but my preparatory work should keep me from getting too lost.