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Art Supplies Review: Ampersand Pastelbord

May 10, 2011

Last Friday I had some time to head over to Plaza Artist Supply in Rockville and check out their sale that is going on this May (not paid to say this… just FYI).

I wanted to also check out the pastelbord by Ampersand (I am also not affiliated with Ampersand.) that I saw a video about. I am going to do a short review of my first experiences with this new-to-me drawing/painting suface.

According to the Ampersand website, their “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 wet or dry traditional pastel techniques or with acrylics, and more! The coating is pH neutral and non-yellowing, making it a truly permanent museum quality surface.”

I watched a video of a woman demonstrating this pastelbord and was intrigued. I am known to mostly paint in watercolor, but I have been getting back into acrylics again. When I paint with acrylics I miss watercolor. When I paint in watercolor, I miss acrylics. This pastelbord sounded like it was going to solve that problem of being a medium two timer. I figured I can have big love for both watercolor and acrylics on the pastelbord. It sounded like I could use either medium in any way I wanted because of this special surface: clay and marble dust finish.

Well, it’s true. I purchased the biggest piece of pastelbord they sold and took it with me to my painting demo at the MAA Gallery in Wheaton Mall. I unwrapped it and felt its rough, yet inviting texture. It had a significant amount of “tooth” to it. It felt very texturized, but also smooth- almost like rubbing the surface of fine terra cotta, but not quite. I had purchased the white surface even though they have other colors.

Since the video said I could do some blending really well, I grabbed some light ultramarine blue and some water and started to apply the paint. VERY INTERESTING! The color that appears on the pastelbord is much different than what shows up on canvas board. It is brighter and it looks as if I am painting with watercolor. This effect can be controlled with the amount of water I apply to the brush or surface.

I am loving it so much already. I am still deciding where I go from here with this image, but I have a pretty good idea that it’ll be a landscape.

Next time, I’ll write about what pastelbord looks like with a combination acrylic wash and thinker acrylic application. I hope I inspired you to try new painting surfaces. This one is still new to me and the possibilities are exciting.

Acrylics on Pastelbord

Acrylics on Pastelbord

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 11, 2011 10:23 am

    Thank you for the stellar review and wonderful that you were able to really showcase the Pastelbord surface. I hope you continue to experiment with it and find out what it can really do.

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