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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.

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Featured Gallery Artist: Rhonda Gates

Moire by Rhonda Gates
Moire, oil and graphite on Hardbord, 16″ x 20″, 2013

Rhonda Gates is an abstract landscape artist, explaining her process and inspiration in a recent blog post on her site, she shares that her works evolve in subject and color, as her process evolves in making them.  

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.

New Ampersand Products for this Spring

6″ x 8″ flat panels

A few weeks ago, we announced the new sizes, 6″ x 8″, in our Museum Series panels, packed in 3’s.  They are a fun new addition to our product line and will be immensely helpful to those who travel with panels or who work plein air.

But now. . . 


We are also carrying new profiles, 7/8″ and 1.5″ cradles for Aquabord™ and Hardbord™!  

And larger sizes for Encausticbord™ and Hardbord 2″ cradled panels, including 10″ x 10″, 16″ x 16″, 30″ x 30″ and 36″ x 36″ square plus 24″ x 36″, 30″x 40″ and 36″ x 48″.  

New Hardbord Cradles


And new 10″ x 10″ sand 16″ x 16″, flat profiles for both Claybord and Gessobord.  Seriously great stuff to build up your studio supplies.

And now, you can find Aquabord, Pastelbord, Scratchbord and Artist Panels on SALE!!!

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.

New Sizes for our Panels!!

This year, we added 6″ x 8″ inch flat panels to our size offering in Claybord™, Gessobord™, Pastelbord™, Encausticbord™ and Hardbord™, due to popular demand. They are small, lightweight and packed in threes for both convenience and cost effectiveness, and perfect for plein air painting.  Both Jerry’s Artarama and Dick Blick are  carrying the new sizes.  


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.

Painting on Panel: Resources for Hardbord

In our “Painting on Panels” series, I’ve been sharing a lot of tips on working on wood panels.  To keep it all in one place, this is a list of resources for understanding wood panels and the best practices in working on them for producing long lasting art.

Working with Masonite — Read about what makes Ampersand’s hardboard different than Masonite, archival to use and the differences between other panels in the market.


Solid Wood vs. Manufactured Wood Panels —  The top 4 things an artist should consider when choosing a panel type.


Differences between HDF & MDF — What to look for in choosing a panel, whether it is hardboard, HDF or MDF.  Understanding the properties of each and how they will effect your artwork long term.


Cradling and Supports — Why it’s a good idea to brace large manufactured panels.


Sizing — Why it is important to size panels before priming and how to choose the proper products for good adhesion.


Oil Priming — All raw wood panels need to be sized and primed before painting. This outlines the basics on priming with an oil ground and which products to use for the best results.  


Acrylic Priming —  Step by step instructions for using an acrylic dispersion groung to prepare wood panels.

Support Induced Discoloration —  The reasons that SID occurs and what you can do to prevent it.  

Take note that Hardbord and Unprimed Basswood are on sale now up to 50% off list price through the end of February.  Here is a list of the participating dealers: www.ampersandart.com/retailers2/promo-retail

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.