1 (800) 822-1939   USA toll free
+1 (512) 322-0278   outside the US

All Things Ampersand

Priming Wood Panels With Acrylic Gesso

Priming Wood Panels With Acrylic Gesso

A wood panel is a better painting substrate because it is less susceptible to expansion and contraction than flexible supports, like canvas. The movement of these flexible supports can result in cracks and damage to the artwork created on them.

Ampersand offers several ready to use sealed and primed panels, but for artists that prefer to prime their own painting panels, enjoy working with a natural wood texture, or need strong support for encaustic, collage, or mounting, Ampersand also offers three unprimed wood panel options: Hardbord, Unprimed Basswood, and Birch Wood Panel.

Commonly, artists ask us if unprimed wood panels need to be sealed. The answer is yes. If wood is not sized or sealed properly before applying gesso, yellowing can occur. This is because water (a solvent) can cause acids that occur naturally in wood to migrate to the surface. In fact, it is extremely important to properly seal all unprimed wood substrates to prevent support-induced discoloration that can cause your paint film to yellow over time.

Continue Reading >>

Featured Artist: Taylor Reinhold

Ampersand recently launched our largest surfaces ever and wanted to collaborate with artists whose experience is primarily creating on a big scale. This led to our collaboration with aerosol artist Taylor Reinhold. Born and raised in Santa Cruz, California, Reinhold attended Santa Clara University. In 2009, he founded Made Fresh Crew, a collective of artisans ranging in talents from glass blowing to painting. Since then he has worked to promote creativity amongst the youth through artistic community outreach projects.

Continue Reading >>

Claybord and Golden® High Flow Acrylics

Claybord and Golden® High Flow Acrylics

Amy Shawley Paquette demonstrates her “painterly illustrative” style using Claybord and Golden® High Flow acrylics. She is a Virginia-based visual artist whose painting and illustration is inspired by nature, texture, color, and travel. Her work incorporates figurative elements with wildlife, architecture, and landscapes that are influenced by her adventures.

Continue Reading >>

Featured Gallery Artist: Bryan Sylvester

Bryan Sylvester
Earth Echoes, 24″ x 18″, acrylic on Gessobord

Bryan Sylvester specializes in spiritual, contemplative art, focusing on Mandalas.  The Vermont based artist is also a Reiki practitioner.  You can find more of his work at his website www.briansylvesterart.com

All things Ampersand, 
Karyn Meyer-Berthel 
Artist & Social Media Specialist 
Ampersand Art Supply 

Click here to explore the full selection of Ampersand panels and tools.

Acrylic Painting on Claybord by Rock Newcomb

A few years ago, I discovered the advantages of painting on Claybord™. Paintings on Claybord, as they move from my studio to galleries all over the world, are not affected by the humidity and temperature changes that cause the contraction you experience with canvas. The luminosity of the clay surface along with the sgraffito techniques I use make my paintings come alive.

Step 1: Sketching and Laying in Patterns and Washes
Since Claybord is forgiving, I can draw and rework pencil drawings right on the surface.  After sketching, I used a mixture of Burnt Umber and Mars Black to lay in the bold dark patterns on the pots. Claybord is very absorbent so your paint will dry quickly. Using subtle washes, I then concentrated on the shaded areas on the prehistoric Indian ceramics. This began to develop form in space. Make sure you use a matte medium when diluting your acrylics with water to preserve the integrity of your paint.
One of the great advantages of Claybord is the layering of color you can achieve. Using warm earth tones (sepia, burnt umber, raw umber, transparent red iron oxide and cadmium orange), I established the ground and the background. To further develop the form of each object I used many layers of very diluted sepia and raw umber washes, which warm the objects.

Step 2: Creating Texture and Detail
One of the advantages of Claybord is that the thick clay surface allows me to incise right into my paintings. I carved, sanded, and erased through the acrylic paints with sgraffito methods to cause the ceramics to look very, very old. I use razors, scratch knives, or just about anything to work the clay surface of the board. I then painted in areas with sepia, and highlighted them again by scratching back to the white of the board or to a lighter layer of color underneath. Using these sgraffito methods you would swear there were pits and holes in the ceramics. After I finished carving into the surface, I went over all the painted patterns on the ceramics where they are in direct light and applied a 50/50 wash of titanium white to reemphasize the light. Then, I cut in highlights to define the worn spots 

Step 3: Creating other Textures
Both the Claybord’s surface and rigidity provide me an opportunity to experiment with different materials, often using mixed media at virtually any stage of the painting. For example, I wanted the petroglyphs to appear as they had been pecked into the stone background. I sketched the images of four quail and a vortex and then brushed art masking fluid onto these drawings using a small stiff brush in a pointillist style (small dots) allowing some of the under painting to show through. I then painted over the dry masking fluid with a wash of sepia and red iron oxide and then peeled off the masking fluid, which revealed a somewhat darker background with a lighter image of the quail and the vortex. Then, I darkened the ground with sepia and red iron oxide, which gave it the appearance of the texture of stone, and added diagonal stripes of what appears to be mortar.

FinishingOne of the exciting aspects of finishing a piece on Claybord is the ease of framing without glass. To protect and finish off the piece, I airbrush two to three coats of Golden’s UVLS polymer varnish (70% gloss, 30% matte, 100% water). Strain the mixture through a paper towel (doubled) each time before using. Now my collectors can enjoy the luminous quality of my work without glass!
 
Rock Newcomb 
Ampersand Art Supply 

Click here to explore the full selection of Ampersand panels and tools.