Saturday, August 29, 2015

Pacon Plastic Poster Board - part 2

 A couple of days ago I told you about a new product from Pacon that I had the opportunity to test.  I loved the assorted vibrant colors I used for my collage experiments, but the color choice that intrigued me most was the "clear" (which I think can be more accurately described as translucent), so I experimented with a couple more possible project ideas for the Pacon website.

When I was a kid, my parents purchased a pair of paintings on glass at a fair, that the artist had painting while they watached, and they hung on our living room wall for decades.  I wish I knew what happened to them.  The artist had painted the landscapes on the back of the glass, beginning with the foreground details.  These paintings were the inspiration for my ideas for the translucent plastic poster board.

I decided to use the translucency to create some atmospheric perspective.  One side is very smooth; I will be referring to this side as the front, and the other is slightly textured; this side is the back.  I sketched a quick skyline on paper, put it under the translucent board with the back side facing UP, and began by painting yellows and whites for windows and lights.
 I painted with acrylic, which dried quickly. As soon as it dried, I painted some buildings in black and various grays.  I painted these right OVER the windows, so you could no longer see them on the back.
 On top of the buildings, still on the BACK, I quickly painted the sky, with clouds and some smoke coming from smokesacks on the buildings.  Here's what the back looked like at this point. 
While that was drying, I also painting this sunburst sky on another piece of the poster board.  I cannot seem to get the color balance accurate in any of these color photos, but you'll get the idea.
When I set that aside to draw, I went back to my skyline painting.  I flipped it over, and this is how it looked on the front.  Since the windows were painted FIRST, their detail was all visible. 
Then, I used some more acrylic paint, this time on the FRONT, to paint some foreground in front of the buildings.  I hadn't planned well, so I didn't leave a lot of room for the foreground, but I was able to fit in some foliage.  Here it is.
 As a final step, I used a black Sharpie marker on the FRONT and added a few line details on the buildings here and there.  This is the final product. 
I think the "backwards thinking" required to plan this out would be a fun challenge for upper elementary or mid-level students.  You will be painting FIRST what you usually paint LAST!

Meanwhile... the color burst sky on the back of the other piece of translucent plastic poster board had dried, so I flipped it over and, using a black Sharpie on the front, I created this silhouette of a bare tree.
 Viewed from the backside, this is what it looks like.
 I decided to do one last fun detail.  I flipped back to the front, and, using a white Sharpie paint marker, I added a skim of snow on the top side of the branches and the ground.  I also added a few flakes flying through the sky.  Here's the final product.
I'm still toying with other ideas for the clear board, so maybe, down the road, there will be a "part 3" post about the Pacon Plastic Poster Board.  I'm busy playing with colored Sharpies on the board, using them on both the front and back to experiment with the color mixing possibilities when light passes through when hung in a window.
By the way, for those of you intrigued by this product and want to get some, it is currently only available at Michael's, in both the clear and white, but School Specialty will be picking it up soon, and they will offer all colors I shared in my previous post.  So keep your eyes peeled!  This is a really fun product, with lots of possibility! 


  1. Think I'll be heading over to Michael's soon!! Looks like fun:))

  2. I really like the effect of acrylic combined with Sharpie silhouette on the clear board. I'm excited to give it a try.

  3. I'm a beginner. What kind of paper did you use?

    1. It is not paper. It is Pacon's Clear Plastic Pasteboard!

    2. Oops - that's clear plastic posterboard, not pasteboard! That's what happens if I type on my phone in the sunshine and don't check what I've written!

  4. How fun Phyl! In the 80's, I did a LOT of paintings on glass like that with pen & ink with oil paint. A few are still at my mom's house. I may have to give this a try! Donna

  5. I love the possibilities of this product. I haven't seen anything like it here but I'll keep a look out for it. thanks for sharing and your snowy tree is lovely