Painting Technique used by Sonja ter Heijden

For making her paintings Sonja uses “Masonite” panel as a basic surface, a sheet material which is used widely in construction. Non-shrinking, as hard as oak and even resistant to all weather conditions. This makes it ideal for smooth pictures on it. There are different thicknesses to be used, depending on the size painting from 4 to 7 mm.

The masonite is triple primed with a pink primer and watersanded after each drying. Thus creating a perfectly smooth and highly adherent surface for the oil paint.
This contrasts with the very fragile linen, an objectionable structure, dents while drawing, which will stretch under humid temperatures and pulls tight at dry and warm temperatures. So with the passage of time the painting is crackling, needing intensive maintenance…

The primed surface of the masonite panel is now ready to make a detailed design drawing, as required for Sonja’s paintings. After this she is able to begin the underpainting, in order to have a good overview of what the painting will eventually be. Once the oil of the underpainting is dry, the painting is watersanded and then can be started with the detailed finish. However, depending the intended result of the detailed subject, it might be necessary to repeat the watersanding.

After the painting is completed it is varnished with satin clear varnish, so that a hard protective layer protects the painting against dust deposits (fat, smoke).

Sonja with her parents (2011)
Sonja with her parents (2011)