Gouache and watercolor on Aquabord

Developed for the unique demands of watercolor painting, Aquabord has a wonderful texture similar to cold-pressed watercolor paper. Watercolorists and gouache painters love painting on Aquabord for many reasons. Colors are more vibrant because the pigment is trapped in the top surface of the coating and light reflects more directly off of a rigid support. Also, Aquabord will not tear, shrink, or buckle even under heavy water application.


Misty Segura-Bowers, William, 20x16, watercolor on Ampersand Aquabord


In addition to these benefits, Aquabord’s unique coating allows for exciting techniques simply not possible on paper. On Aquabord, endless glazes of colors can be layered one on top of the other to create complex dark values and brilliant colors. Natural highlights and depth can be created by lifting the color to expose underlying tones in glazes and even lift back to the white of the surface. Use a clean brush, wet sponge, cotton swab, or white eraser to lift and remove colors to bring light back into the painting.

Fine lines and details can also be added with a scratch knife or other Scratchbord tools which will expose the white of the surface.

Unlike other watercolor surfaces, Aquabord is very forgiving. If you make a mistake, blot the surface with a wet cloth or paper towel to remove the color.


Justin Vining, Winter at the Indiana Dunes, 6x6, gouache on Ampersand Aquabord


Aquabord is a popular choice among plein air artists because it does not require any mounting or stretching and serves as its own backing board.


TIP: Once you lay down your washes, you may notice small "pin-like" bubbles forming on the surface. This is normal. We recommend "flushing out" Aquabord before beginning your painting by simply applying an even wash of water with a large brush over the entire surface. Let the air escape. Once the bubbles have dissipated and while the board is still damp, you can begin working on it. Beginning with this method will result in a more even wash of color.

When finished, seal Aquabord with a finishing spray and free your painting from the additional weight and glare caused when framing behind glass.


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