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MITRA Forum Question Details

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  • Metalpoint GroundApproveRejectUn-ApproveSubscribeUn-Unsubscribe
    Question asked 2017-07-28 09:38:44 ... Most recent comment 2017-07-28 12:31:03
    Drawing Materials Grounds / Priming


    A friend who is an experienced metalpoint artist recommends Golden's Pastel Ground for metalpoint; he says it has more tooth, he's able to get richer darks, and thus prefers it to Golden's Silverpoint Ground.  I got some of the Pastel Ground to try and discovered it's transparent, not opaque - and I need opacity to cover the MDF support I'm applying the ground too.  Any considerations to combining equal parts Golden's Pastel Ground with either Golden's Sandable Hard Gesso, or Golden's Absorbent Gesso (both of which work well for silverpoint and I already have in the studio)? 

    I don't have Golden's Silverpoint Ground on hand, but may order to experiment with if it's sandable - can you get a readily sandable, perfectly smooth surface with that ground?


    Koo Schadler


Answers and Comments

  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    ​Hi Koo -

    Of the options you presented the Hard Sandable Gesso would be your best choice, especially if sandability is desired. Just keep in mind that in the process of sanding you will also likely reduce the tooth of the Pastel Ground to something closer to....well, the Silverpoint Ground or the Hard Sandable Gesso! As for proportions for tinting it, I would think 3 parts Pastel Ground to 1 part Hard Sandable Gesso would be more than enough to get a bright white. Could likely even get away with a 10% addition. 

    It is true that the Pastel Ground has more tooth than the Silverpoint Ground - something obviously needed for Pastels - but that tooth I think will also interrupt having a smooth, textureless mark - if indeed that was desired. But certainly it will create a darker mark by grabbing more of the metal.

    The Silverpoint Ground can be sanded.....if needed.....but it is also very thin in viscosity. Really essentially ink-like. So it lays down very smoothly. Something that is ideal especially if wanting to prepare a sheet of paper and preserve its feel. In that sense it is close to how it feels when preparing a surface with Gouache or even a chalk ground.

    Hope that helps. And never hesitate to just reach out to Golden directly if you have questions about our products - we are wickedly fast in responding. :)

    Sarah Sands, Senior Technical Specialist, Golden Artist Colors
    2017-07-28 09:53:45
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser Comment

    That is a fast reply!  I like contacting Golden directly, you have a very helpful technical crew, but I also like bringing up issues that I've discussed with fellow painters on MITRA, since I know they check in here regularly and thus the reply gets shared with many. 

    My metalpoint friend works on paper, doesn't sand, so the pastel ground has worked well for him; but I work on panels, I like to build up lots of layers and sand. What you say makes sense, of course - sanding the pastel ground for smoothness will reduce the additional tooth I'm aiming for.  I appreciate that Golden produces so many possibilities for metalpoint.  I'll play with them and see what I come up with. 

    Thanks, Koo

    2017-07-28 11:36:29
  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    ​Not a problem - and makes sense. It is definitely true that this has the great advantage of being a public repository of knowledge. 

    One great tip and trick is that we find wet sanding is usually the most effective way to sand acrylics since it reduces the heat from friction and produces a smoother more even result. 

    Let us - as in here at MITRA - know how things go.

    Sarah Sands, Senior Technical Specialist, Golden Artist Colors
    2017-07-28 12:31:03

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