Friday, January 21, 2011

Aquabord Surface testing

To my complete enjoyment, this month I have had the opportunity to "test" the new aquabord surface produced by Ampersand Art. (Thank you Andrea and Elaine!) For in painting not only comes from the art of creating, but also from the science and products used and explored.

Painting is much more than simply using some random pigments and applying them to a surface. The 'scientist' in me spends a great deal of energy...and choosing pigments...those properties and qualities that will not only lend themselves to a harmonious palette, but also enhance the longevity of the painting. I apply similar considerations when choosing a painting surface. 'Knowing' your paints, brushes, surfaces all enhance the integrity of the process...and I believe, the integrity of what is produced.

Blind Date
Watercolor on Ampersand Aquabord

For the past 2-3 years, almost exclusively, I have preferred the textured clay surface produced by Ampersand. Below are a few of the elements and findings in "testing" the new surface along with my favorite characteristics of the surface.

Surface Properties:

Durable and reliable support…with beautiful texture effects as a result of air bubbles trapped in the surface that are released with water.

Stands up well to graphite and erasing without noticeable surface damage. Graphite erases more easily and more completely on newer surface. Pencil mark remains visible and clear when wet

The ‘white’ of the surface I would describe as a neutral or subdued white (almost warm) Ivory color when compared to a standard white… that lends itself well to complement pigments/ pleasing color. Similar in color to most ‘rough’ or cold pressed heavy weight watercolor papers, particularly Arches. Coarse and assertive, somewhat ‘gritty’ texture.

Paint went on smooth with even drying of flat and graded washes, resulting in less backruns and blossoming.

Even when saturated, backruns and blossoming were minimal.

Pigments (even staining pigments) lifted cleanly. I would need to test using heavier glazes to compare lift ability.

Pigments maintained their color and intensity…and compared to paper the intensity, value, and chroma are enhanced on this surface.

More "testing" to come...and the excitement of a new and improved surface...


Sandy Byers said...

How fun to see how similar our posts were (just one day apart) about surfaces. I completely agree with you, Ariel, about the products and the part studio/part lab. So enjoyable, isn't it?

The vibrance of colors in this piece is amazing! So lovely.

ariel freeman said...

Thank you Sandy. I must admit I get a little behind on my blog reading...has it really been 3 weeks since my last post?