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All Things Ampersand

SPRING SALE! Claybord, Aquabord, and Pastelbord at Great Prices!

We have some exciting deals happening for Spring at participating retailers!

Claybord – Aquabord – Pastelbord

All on Sale at up to 50% off!

And don’t miss this!

BUY 2 Claybords or Aquabords and Get 1 Free!

We have prepackaged sets of three flat panels on sale for the price of two! Claybord packs are available in 8×8, 10 x 10 and 12×12 sizes while Aquabord is available in 8×10, 9×12 and 11×14 sizes!


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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 >>

Pastelbord Basics

Pastelbord™ is one of our absorbent textured surfaces, created for endless layering with soft pastel, oil pastel or colored pencil artists in mind.  Pastelbord is a clay and gesso coated hardboard panel with a granular marble dust finish comparable to a sanded pastel paper except more durable and more versatile.  It can be used with a combination of wet and dry media.  

An underpainting or wash can be applied to the entire surface with acrylic or watercolor before working pastel onto the surface. Blending with water or solvent, an artist can create layers of color for a deep, rich finish.  Water will not make Pastelbord rip or buckle, so you can use a damp cloth to blot away pastel marks to completely rework the image.   

Artist Ken Muenzenmayer has found Pastelbord to be one of his favorite surfaces for acrylic painting because the texture holds a long open time.  He finds that he can get rich, glowing color on Pastelbord that surpasses any other surface.

For more techniques on using Pastelbord, take a peek at our YouTube Channel.  Artist Kendra Ferreira shares her blending techniques with colored pencil and watercolor pencil on Pastelbord to get rich color underpainting.  

Pastelbord is not available in cradled panels as pastels need to be framed under glass for the most protection.  However, Pastelbord does come in four colors:  grey, green, sand and white and a variety of 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.

Featured Artist: Chantel Barber

Brennan on the Beach, 7″ x 5″

Tennessee artist, Chantel Barber, has been a life-long portrait artist. Knowing at the ripe age of six that she was already an artist, Chantel told her parents that she would one day work for Walt Disney Studios. When she was ten, Chantel’s family moved to San Diego, and she was able to see an art museum for the first time and began taking art lessons. Even at that early age, she poured herself into capturing the human soul. People have always been her favorite subject, even now. She explains, “I am drawn to a lot of things, but people tend to inspire me the most. I love telling their stories through paint. I do work from life but when approaching the smaller pieces that I love, I use my own photographs as references.”  

She Paused, 5″ x 5″

Chantel’s early preference to drawing people was a quicker journey than that of finding the perfect medium.  It was in adulthood when she found acrylics.  Chantel came to acrylics because she needed a painting medium that would be transported easily, moving around quite a bit for her family needs.  Acrylics made more sense than the flammable oils she was using, and panels made sense for their durability over the paper she had originally used for pastel work. At first, Chantel made her own panels for painting, but discovered Pastelbord™ while looking for something more substantial.  Finding the panels to be a great fit, Chantel explored other ideas for her acrylic work and found Gessobord™.  “I remember how excited I was when they arrived in the mail.  It only took one painting to know I was hooked.  I also love that I can get them in smaller 4 x 4″ and 5″ x 5″s as I have found great satisfaction in creating small but powerful art.” Chantel’s thoughtful portraits recently caught the attention of Acrylic Artist Magazine, and her small, but powerful portraits are featured in the Winter 2015 issue.  

My Voice, 4″ x 4″

Along with her commitments to painting, Chantel teaches and writes about her work. She is an instructor teaching portraits in acrylic and offering private painting critiques, in and around her home town of Bartlett, TN, which you can find out more about through her website: www.chantelsoriginals.com. She also has several of her own books published, including a new one she published this past summer, Capturing Life in Acrylic:  Step by Step Techniques.  Chantel keeps up a regular blog with her work and teaching at:  chantelsoriginals.blogspot.com.  And later this year, Chantel has several of her small paintings coming out in a children’s book.

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.

Featured Artist: Scott Daryn Tillett

“I’ve tried many of Ampersand’s surfaces, but the Pastelbord seemed to compliment my technique the best.  They are truly the best surface I’ve ever used.  As long as you guys keep making them, I’ll keep using them.” ~Scott Daryn Tillett

The Spirit Within
Timeless Serenade

Colored pencil artist, Scott Daryn Tillett works his brilliant, detailed pieces through a tried and true formula, but with an interesting twist on his subject matter.  Even though his creations are built with careful planning, layout, and technical knowledge, Scott’s mystical imagery comes to him from the dreamworld.  The highly detailed designs he creates are first sketched out in his morning routine through a dream sketchbook, kept by the bedside.  He explains, “I keep a dream sketchbook next to my bed that I sketch in every morning.  I take those sketches and fine tune them into a final work.  My subject matter changes depending on what dreams I have an how interesting I think other people might find them.  Most of my dreams include some type of nature, usually with spiritual overtones.”  This couldn’t be more evident than in his most recent work, Timeless Serenade and The Spirit Within.

Scott has been working in colored pencil for years, finding it to be his favorite medium, and building it up smoothly in layers to appear as oil paint, like the old Masters’ work.  He began his study in colored pencil by trying layers with a soft touch, working on paper, testing out several brands of pencil, and finally changing up his surface.  He shares further, “I use Prismacolor pencils exclusively because of a wax binder they put into their pencils. I’ve tried the oil based pencils but they didn’t seem to blend as well when using a heavy approach. With this in mind, I started applying the wax pigment with more force, completely covering my surface with color and not allowing the color of the support to show through. Back in those days, I was using paper, and I quickly realized that I was going to need a paper that had a lot of tooth so that I could apply heavy layer over heavy layer without destroying the paper. There are quite a few heavy papers on the market, and one of the best that fit my new technique nicely is sanded paper. I created a couple of works on this surface with good results but I was still not completely satisfied because now that the artwork was finished, it required some protection as the art was created on paper. I really didn’t want to go through the expense of having to mat and frame my work behind glass, so I set out to find a surface that would compliment my technique as well as allow me to varnish and frame my artwork like an oil painting. This is when I discovered Ampersand.” 

Crimson Window

Scott’s work was recently featured in two colored pencil magazines last month, Colored Pencil Magazine and in Color Magazine.  Scott posts his most recent work, exhibition information, and sales information through his regularly updated Facebook page:  Artistic Visions of Scott Daryn Tillett.

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.