Launching off of prior experiments with borders and painting methods, I decided to do a painting whose final dimensions I did not know. I also decided to put down a hot color that existed in the main objects in the painting, and leave messy brushstrokes around the edges. So I taped a piece of gessoed canvas to a board and, for my subject, set up some tomato wedges on a little square plate (love those plates), and painted it. Here's how it came out, taped to its support:
So, how to present it? Well, the image is pretty close to the bottom border of the canvas, so I think I'll adhere it to a masonite board. I found recommendations for using lots of compounds to do this: gel medium, hide glue, Miracle Muck, PVA glue (Elmer's), or ModgePodge. I'll probably try the gel medium and trim it at the edge rather than wrapping it around the board. That's how the RayMar panels I like are made, and it's easier to find frames for flatter panels.
The next interesting question is this: How do I crop it? The choices seem to be these: as is, square, horizontally, or vertically. Through the miracle of computer software, I tried the last two. Here is the landscape orientation:
And the portrait:
I think I like the landscape. The red in the background seems more integrated into the piece. I'll play with it some more, though.
OK, now, how to get the size of masonite I want? Well, I bought some larger pieces from a local art store, and today we went out and bought a table saw. So next I'll get to learn how to use a table saw. Tay stuned.
Finally, what do I think of the process? Well, it was strange to start my painting by drawing things near the middle (normally I orient what I paint against the borders of my canvas). But it was also rather liberating not to be bound by that. I mean, if I wanted to, I could assemble a large painting and break it down into multiple small ones. I could paint the main subject of the painting, then, if I felt like it, add another object (another tomato wedge?) way out in the boonies. This feels more open to me, although there's also more overhead. But worth adding to my repertoire. It's nice when something feels right.