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You’ll need some gesso and a flat piece of plastic. I cut mine out of a peanut can lid! Ideally, your tool should have a straight edge and rounded corners.

I’m not sure if this is a well known technique, or if it’s new to some people, but using a piece of plastic to apply gesso (or background color) goes quickly, saves paint, and leaves a nice, smooth surface. If you don’t have a piece of plastic, a piece of sturdy mat board or a credit card can work. …Or real squeegee, I imagine.

I learned this from my first painting professor at Montana State University, Hal Schlotzhauer, and I use it whenever I need to quickly cover a surface with a thin coat of paint or gesso. It’s especially handy when I’m painting flats for plays and I’m pressed for time and materials.

In this video, I’m covering a canvas with gesso that I’ve tinted with pink acrylic paint. I use my finger to smooth the edges. When I’m done painting, if I don’t frame, I use a printmaking brayer to paint the edges whatever color I want.

I could add another coat and sand lightly with fine sandpaper for an extra smooth surface, but in this case I’m not too worried about perfect coverage, and they’re pretty smooth without any sanding.

Just now I did six canvases in less than 30 minutes, with practically no waste. I used about 1/2 cup of tinted gesso in all. (The canvases already had one layer of gesso on them)





If you ever wondered just what I do in my art kitchen, it’s time you found out. I’ll be participating in the December 9-10 2016 Bozeman Open Studios tour.

The 2-day event will feature 12 local artists–right in their workspaces–and will coincide with the Friday, Dec. 9 Bozeman Artwalk.

Visit me! I’ll have recent paintings, prints, cards, oddities, cast-offs, goo-gaws and, of course, refreshments and (existential) holiday flair.

Demos! I’ll be around both days, demonstrating processes I enjoy, including gelatin printing, needle felting and oil stick drawing. Who knows what else–I’ll have some projects underway, so you can try your hand.

Friday December 9: 5pm-9pm
Saturday December 10: 10am-4pm

Places: I’m Number 3! See more studios and details on the Google Map Here





Somehow it’s become an October tradition for me to draw cartoons of the costumes that David and I “decided not to wear for Halloween.” I draw them on my i-pad using the Sketchbook app, using my finger as a stylus. Some are messier than others, depending on the time of day that I draw them.

Coming up with the ideas is a family affair. My daughter, Wren, sends me texts of her ideas. And my son in law, Mike, came up with several over dinner at Starky’s one evening. Some of them are David’s ideas, some my own. Some are inside jokes, or feature people we know (e.g. the two Ryans).  Thus, I give you “Rejected DavMar Halloween Costumes 2016”

(If you missed last year’s series, you can find them on my haphazard cartoon blog, Tepid and Oversteeped.

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