Introduction to Ampersand Aquabord

Aquabord is an amazing surface for watercolor, comprised of a Hardbord sealed with Archiva-Seal™ and coated with a unique clay and mineral ground. Aquabord has several advantages over working with watercolor paper.

Developed for the unique demands of watercolor painters, Aquabord has a wonderful texture similar to that of cold-pressed watercolor paper. Unlike paper, however, it will not tear, shrink, or buckle even under heavy water application. Colors on Aquabord remain more vibrant than on paper because the watercolor pigment sits in the top layer of the coating. Light reflects off of a panel rather than absorbing into it, so you get brighter colors.

Aquabord has brought a whole new approach and set of exciting techniques to the watercolor artist. You can layer glazes of color one on top of the other creating complex dark values and brilliant color on Aquabord not achievable on paper. Make sure that each layer of color on Aquabord is completely dry before applying the next glaze to avoid lifting it accidentally.

On Aquabord, you can go back and lift color to expose underlying color in your glazes. Or you can even lift all the way back to the white of the Aquabord surface! This allows you to create depth in your painting and natural highlights without the use of masking fluids.

Aquabord doesn’t require any mounting or stretching and serves as its own backing board, making Aquabord perfect for plein air. Finally, watercolor paintings on Aquabord can be sealed with a spray fixative and displayed without the need for glass, really showing off the brilliant colors and details of your painting.

Although Aquabord was created for the watercolor painter, it’s also a great panel to use with gouache, acrylic, casein, and ink. If you love Claybord but wish the surface had more texture, try Aquabord!

Aquabord is available in sizes ranging from 4x4 up to 24x36. Ampersand offers Aquabord in a 1/8" flat format as well as 7/8", 1.5", and 2" cradle depths.

Aquabord: The Amazing Watercolor Surface

  • Similar texture as cold-pressed watercolor paper
  • Brighter colors than on paper
  • Endlessly layer and glaze
  • Lift color back to white
  • Will not tear, shrink, or buckle
  • Also great with gouache, acrylic, casein, and ink
  • Apply fixative and display without glass

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