The pastel bord is coated with clay and gesso, and has a marble dust finish. The texture is nice and I enjoyed painting on it although it feels very rough on the brushes.
Another trial of the fine linen canvas. This time I stapled it to some cardboard and had a more successful time of it.
I rather enjoyed painting on this surface. Not too dissimilar to a normal canvas panel, it’s been primed to give a medium canvas texture.
I liked it enough to consider buying the panel in a larger size but it turns out, other than in sample packs, they only come in 9mm thickness or cradled.
I had initially thought this would be one of my favourites seeing as it’s marketed for all artists’ paints and I actually have a 16 * 20 inch version that I bought in anticipation of a pleasurable painting experience.
But given what I now know of their smooth surfaces I decided I’d try this semi-absorbent surface next.
Yep, smooth and slippery, not looking forward to using that larger panel now!
I bought some very fine unprimed linen (and some clear gesso) and tried painting on a little scrap of it.
It was pretty hard going as the canvas was neither stretched or pinned to a board. Not completely sold.
<sigh> the Ampersand surfaces are all so smooth and slippery!</sigh> The claybord is apparently an “ultra smooth absorbent clay ground”. But the reason I think I find their surfaces slippery is that they don’t absorb that well and the paint just slides around out of your total control.
Anyway this iris didn’t turn out too bad. The black background is ultramarine blue & burnt umber.
The next Ampersand board I tried is designed for encaustic painting. Like the scratchbord, I found this surface very smooth and slippery. Whilst the painting process wasn’t so enjoyable I’m quite pleased with the end result.
In my search for a surface to replace the Winsor & Newton Winton Canvas Paper, I came across a seller of polyester canvas. The surface has the same regular pattern as the Winton but it was unprimed. I had to give it a few good coatings of gesso.
The result was a delightful surface to paint on, it wasn’t expensive and if not for having to gesso it I’d have ordered some more.
I decided I’d try the Ampersand boards starting with the surface I’m least likely to like, ending with the surface I think will be most enjoyable for me to paint on.
So, the smooth, black scrathbord! They say it’s clay coated hardboard that’s been coated with India Ink. Well I’ve never created scratchboard art and haven’t the equipment to start, it was my normal paints and brushes.
It was nice to have such a smooth, black background but I found the surface much too slick for my acrylics, I was really fighting with the painting and stopped before I considred it finished.
Blue tit on Smooth Hot Pressed Watercolour Paper