MAGIC MAT CommissionPosted: April 6, 2013
My friend Reuben plays ‘Magic the Gathering.’ I don’t know much about Magic (other than it involves cards with pictures of monsters on them), but some players apparently use a ‘place mat’ (sort of like a giant mouse pad) to lay their cards on. Reuben had a blank one and wanted me to illustrate something on it — he had another one that his wife had done for him and wanted to add to his collection. His only request was that the ‘focus’ of the work should be in the upper 1/2 to 2/3rds of the mat — apparently he likes to lay his cards along the bottom side of the mat, so if everything worth looking at is down there, it will soon get covered with cards.
I promised him I would make him a wonderful mat right away and then stuck it in a drawer and forgot all about it for about a year. The other day I decided to get off my ass and make the mat. I soon discovered that the rubbery, synthetic mat material does not take paint at all well — so after some experiments I started painting with the air brush. The air brush is not a tool I have used very much, but if you can see in this picture, I used a ‘frisket’ (which is a sticky, clear material) to block off parts of the mat that I didn’t want paint to get on, then sprayed one color with the airbrush, cut a new frisket to mask off other parts, painted with another color, etc. The mat didn’t take airbrush paint very well either, but it was at least better than the acrylic paint. I also had a lot of trouble getting the frisket to stick to the mat, especially when I was trying to get it to stick to a part I had already painted: