Fluid Art with Claybord Art Tiles and Marabu Alcohol Inks
Glossy, transparent surfaces that reflect “submerged” colors and designs are quite pleasing to the eye. There are numerous ways to achieve this effect, like using expensive resins or layers of glass, for instance. In this step-by-step guide by Celia Buchanan, you’ll find a fun and easy alternative to explore with Marabu Alcohol Inks and acrylic pouring medium on Ampersand’s NEW Claybord Art Tiles!
Inks are probably the most versatile of all painting mediums when used with Claybord™. Claybord’s smooth absorbent surface eliminates smudging, bleeding, and feathering. The pigments in most inks are only absorbed into the top layer of the Claybord surface allowing them to be easily erased and manipulated. When finished, seal your artwork with spray fixative like Krylon® UV Resistant Clear Coating #1309 (Matte) or #1305 (Gloss) and frame without glass.
For best results, use an India Ink with a pleasing warm color undertone and a low acrylic content. Higgins water proof drawing ink, Black Magic, and/or Sumi inks are recommended. Or, try our already inked Scratchbord™. To begin, paint, airbrush or wipe on washes applying heavier ink in areas needing more darks. When applied, India or Sumi ink does not dissolve like watercolor. The India Ink will not lift or mix with other media when painting over ink washes or drawings. India inks work especially well on Claybord in mixed media compositions. Try applying oil or acrylic washes over an ink drawing. It is truly amazing how the ink drawing remains intact and is enhanced by the washes of color.
Oil free steel wool or sand paper can be used to gently remove some of the ink to create soft tonal values. For best results, use a 0000 grade oil free steel wool or 400 grit sand paper. Using steel wool, India Ink and scratch tools, create a wide range of tonal values in your work. Painting and drawing techniques can successfully be combined using this method of adding and subtracting paint. Use our Claybord Tools or Xacto knives to cut into the surface to create fine white lines and sharp contrast where scratchboard effects are needed. Claybord can be coated with inks and used like a traditional scratchboard.
Work by Charles Ewing
In many cases, the same techniques using India Inks on Claybordcan be used with colored inks. However, some colored inks contain a high dye content making them difficult to remove using steel wool. Test all colored inks on a small piece of Claybord to determine their staining properties before using them in a composition.
To see a full work in progress by Charles Ewing using ink on Claybord, check out the Unlimited Possibilities for Depth and Detail, where he demonstrates his entire process of creating a portrait with India ink and scratching techniques. 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.
Ampersand has several talented artists on staff, so it is high time that I share with you the art they are making.
Andrea Pramuk is the marketing director for Ampersand, and many of you may know her via our social networks, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Or, you may have met Andrea when you’ve called Ampersand to ask questions about the boards, about advertising, about workshops or just wanting to share your art. She wears many hats, both with Ampersand and on her own as a full time working artist. Since Ampersand is a young company with a smaller staff, many people play a lot of roles. Andrea has been with Ampersand now for 16 years, moving into the marketing director and graphic designer role straight from graduate school.
“Call me Baby”, alcohol ink, wax paper image transfer on Claybord
Andrea’s art began in utero it seems, as she hails from an active art family and was in the studio at her own easel by the age of two. Her father’s way of guarding his own time to paint was to set Andrea up nearby so that he could work and she would find the studio a comforting place. She has painted continuously since then, studying art at Kansas City Art Institute, earning a BFA and moving to Austin to study at the University of Texas for her MFA.
Her career is blossoming, as Andrea regularly sells and shows her work around the country, developing her style both with the mediums she is using and with where her art takes her. Earlier works see Andrea’s skill as a figurative painter, tapping into oils and acrylics. The most recent abstract works are watercolors, alcohol inks, oils and a range of mixed media. In her profession at Ampersand, Andrea comes across many art materials and hones her own practice based on testing and trying new products and gathers inspiration™ from other artists along the way. But even in the midst of all the materials she could try, Andrea chooses Claybord™, Aquabord™ and Encausticbord™ for most of her work because each is so well suited to mixed media and experimentation. She says “I never worry about the surfaces getting overworked or damaged with my heavy handed treatments and unorthodox use of materials. It’s also important to me that I use the most archival materials and practices for my art.”