Unlike any other painting medium, many raw materials may be added to provide a variety of working properties. Brilliant color and quick drying time are commonly known attributes of acrylic paints. A variety of additives can control the thicknesses, density, hardness, flexibility and gloss levels of the paint. As such, acrylics are a versatile medium, able to adhere to almost anything, work quickly as a watercolor wash or go on super heavy like alla prima oil paint. They can work as washes under colored pencil, pastel, graphite, charcoal or ink. And, they can handle specialized additives like marble dust, granite or pumice. Acrylics can also be printed on via an inkjet printer or they can be used to embed an image from a printer. Acrylics can be used to seal a watercolor painting, seal a raw panel, prime a raw canvas or “be the canvas” themselves. Acrylics are so versatile that it seems they would work on any Ampersand panel. And, while that is true, here are some thoughts about using acrylic on specific Ampersand boards.
|Wilson’s Plovers, Acrylic by Ginger Gehres|
- Gessobord™, our #1 recommendation, was designed with acrylics in mind for both thin washes and thick strokes of paint. To make Gessobord, we use a professional quality acrylic gesso that is sanded to a finely textured and slightly absorbent finish. Gessobord works well with gel mediums, scraping tools, palette knives and heavy layering. And now, it comes in a 1 1/2″ profile that fits into standard gallery and floater frames or that can be painted or stained to finish.
- Claybord™ excels with thinned acrylic watercolor techniques because it’s highly absorbent, vellum-smooth and extremely forgiving with changes and clean-up. Like Gessobord, it’s also now available in the 1 1/2” cradle.
- With more fluid and thinned acrylic paints, only Claybord™ allows for additive and subtractive art techniques. Easily remove color or add lines and texture with the Ampersand scratch tools and oil-free steel wool adding dimension and clarity to your image.
- Since Claybord™ is so absorbent, when trying to preserve color, always thin down your acrylics with the appropriate medium, like a matte acrylic medium, for example, rather than with water.
- Aquabord™ is more textured and absorbent than Claybord and allows for a more even build-up of paint layers and stacked brush strokes similar to using a cold press paper. Since it’s designed for use with watercolor, it’s also amazing with acrylic wash techniques and mixed media.
- Pastelbord™ is also a viable option because it offers a longer open working time with acrylics due to its clay, gesso and marble dust finish that is not only finely textured, but also absorbent. This unique ground allows seamless flows and washes better than on any of our other surfaces.
- Pastelbord™ comes in three great colors and white already, but can be easily toned with an acrylic color wash for your own choice of under-painting color.
- Encausticbord™, originally designed for the unique demands of encaustic painting, is also an ideal choice for those looking to use acrylics alone or with mixed media and collage. The surface is sanded smoother than the Gessobord and is also a bit more absorbent. Encausticbord functions well for all types of acrylic paint applications. We don’t recommend using acrylics with encaustic paint, however, because the wax will not permanently bond with it.
- For Scratchbord™ art, acrylics can be thinned down and used to color the white scratched-in areas. Our Scratchbord is coated with jet black india ink, but reveals the white underneath when scratches are made — it’s a smooth white clay surface that accepts all types of watermedia.
|“Orange you glad” Acrylic on Encausticbord by Ginger Gehres|
For more information on specific panels with acrylic paint, check out the articles below: