By Tom Root, alkyd on board, 24” x 24”
Collection of the artist

This painting of my wife and daughter is one of many I did at the time in alkyd
color (Winsor & Newton) on Davey Board (an archival cardboard used for
bookbinding). I worked out the composition in line and tone using charcoal
and white chalk and then sealed the board with a few coats of spray Crystal
Clear, sanding in between coats with extra fine sandpaper to smooth where
the drawing had roughed the surface. Then I laid in the large color masses—alkyds
are very slippery for the first hour or so but set up nicely  after that. I worked
on the piece for a couple of weeks with many sittings. When finished I mounted
the painting with PVA glue onto a shellacked birch plywood panel that was
supported on the back with oak strips to prevent warping. 

This method was a result of my search for a way to combine drawing and
painting more seamlessly.  I had been looking admiringly at Vuillard’s temperas
and Toulouse Lautrec’s oil-on-cardboard paintings.  In my alkyd-on-board
paintings I felt that I had come up with an interesting and technically sound
method,  but then decided to move on, for whatever reason. Other paintings
on this site using this method are “Self-Portrait with Alice” and “Jesse,” which
I believe is the only commissioned portrait that I painted in this way.