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All Things Ampersand

Make Something Today, Even if it’s a Mistake!

Ampersand Panels are VERY Forgiving!

There are lots of reasons to love Ampersand panels. For example, they are archival, eco-friendly and formaldehyde-free. They can hold heavy applications of paint without the “bounce” of canvas. Colors are truer and brighter. You have enhanced control.

But one of the biggest benefits to using an Ampersand Museum Series panel is that it is very forgiving! Continue Reading >>

Featured Artist: Lynnette Shelley

Pennsylvania artist, Lynnette Shelley’s unusual and culturally charged artwork has won numerous awards and found its way into collections across the world.  Her mixed media pieces are a conglomeration of her drawing passion and the collection of interests she has pulled from Celtic art, wildlife, archetypal symbology and art nouveau.  Lynnette explains, I’ve been fascinated by artwork from native cultures from all around the world, and also by the folklore and mythology from those cultures. This was natural as when I was a child, Greek mythology and fairytales were some of my favorite reading material. So, my current style is an amalgam of things I have picked up over the years as well as my love for patterns and stylized shapes. These sort of all meld into the pictures I am creating now.”  Continue Reading >>

Current Events with Encaustics & Ampersand Artists

There is always a lot going on with exhibitions, workshops, book releases and awards with our followers and Ampersand artists.  This month, encaustic artists, Bonny Leibowitz and Elise Wagner both have great happenings in their regions. Continue Reading >>

Gessobord Basics

Museum Series Gessobord™ is the most trusted pre-gessoed wood panel by artists for their work. The coating is 88% thicker than other gessoed panels on the market. The superior quality acrylic gesso ground does not dull colors, and the wonderful lightly sanded surface provides exceptional brush control. Continue Reading >>

Featured Artist: Dustin Dattilio


Rosie, 12″ x 16″, Gessobord

Newly graduated BFA artist, Dustin Dattilio came on our radar a few months back when he was sharing his ultra-realism paintings of fowl and other wildlife through Facebook.  Since Dustin captures the look of a high chroma photograph in his technique, I was intrigued about his method and came to find that he uses a combination of media to achieve his look. Dustin has spent endless hours perfecting his technique and turning what started as a 
college hobby into a full time career.

Dustin began college at Castleton University in Vermont with the aim to become an Athletic Trainer, but enjoyed his downtime pursuit of drawing.  In his senior year, Dustin moved fully into Graphic Design and earned a BFA.  

His natural inclination to study and work on wildlife comes from a full background of hunting and fishing, along with encouragement from his grandfather, who does animal wood carvings.  Dustin often chooses his subjects based on requests or seasonal work, as well as interesting commissions, like the recent piece, Morning Thunder, for the National Wild Turkey Federation banquet this past February.  

Morning Thunder, 16″ x 20″, Gessobord

Starting with airbrush to get a soft, almost blurry, background, Dustin carefully renders his subject matter in the foreground, using acrylics.  Upon discovering Gessobord™ for his work, Dustin shares that the panels give him the consistently smooth support and brilliant color he prefers.  “I use Gessobord for a couple of reasons. The first being that I’ve found that they seem to hold colors better than canvas. Another reason is that canvas is great, but it’s also very expensive. There are so many brands out there of canvas that hold the paint different than the next, so I just stick with an affordable, dependable surface.  When it comes to mailing out and handling my paintings, I don’t have to worry as much about the canvas getting a bubble or something poking through it.”

Dustin can be found online quite a bit, sharing his work, his process and upcoming works for sale.  You can find him on his website or his Facebook page. Dustin also does quite a bit of wood burning work and sells prints of his work as well as the originals.  

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.