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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Featured Gallery Artist: Linda Aman

Peach Petals, 22" x 30", watercolor on Aquabord, 

Linda Aman, watercolorist and instructor uses Aquabord for its ability to make corrections and allow for special effects.  She teaches several classes and workshops in Idaho and Oregon, working in all aspects of watercolor.

Find Linda online to see more of her work through her website and her class schedule:  http://amanarts.com

All things Ampersand, 
Karyn Meyer-Berthel 

Click here to explore the full selection of Ampersand panels and tools.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Graphic Media: Pen and Ink on Claybord™

Many illustrators and graphic artists prefer Claybord™ over paper because of its smooth forgiving surface. Use with Rapidograph and technical pens, calligraphy pens, and markers without fear of mistakes. Claybord's smooth surface can be erased and sanded to its original surface if you need to correct or change an area. This will save you valuable time and money on all your design projects.

Technical Pens
Claybord is an ideal surface for fine pen drawings using technical pens. The smooth absorbent surface will faithfully reproduce the desired line width without any feathering or bleeding. Inks are quickly absorbed and dry almost immediately. This reduces smudging, allowing you to work rapidly over the entire surface. If smudging does occur or if you wish to rework an area of the composition, a fine steel wool or an electric eraser and eraser shield can be used to remove the ink. You can also replace the eraser stick in your electric eraser with a tight wad of fine steel wool. This works great!
Begin by preparing the surface of Claybord. The clay surface makes an excellent ground for most inks but does create some dust which may clog very fine technical pens. Clean your pen point frequently when using Claybord. The following tips can be used to reduce the incidence of clogging:

1. Begin by dusting off the board with a fine brush to remove any existing surface dust.

2. Take a damp rag and wipe down the surface. Allow the board to dry completely before working on it.

3. Some smaller nibs have a sharp pen point. This point cuts into the Claybord surface and can create the clogging dust. Use a fine (600 grit) sandpaper to round off the edges of the pen point.
Can It Happen?  Ink on Claybord by Nancy Wolitzer

Calligraphy
You can use with both dip and pre-filled calligraphy pens. Claybord's absorbent surface reduces feathering and smudging resulting in crisp clean lines and enhanced control. Scratchboard tools can be used to cut in detail and enhance or clean up letters. Steel wool or other abrasives can be used to remove inks and rework areas. Because inks lie on top of the Claybord surface, they can be easily removed with an eraser or abrasive. If you pre-sketch your letters before inking, use a hard lead pencil and leave faint lines. For a mixed media approach, add color and detail to your calligraphy using other types of paint knowing that Claybord will accept any media. When finished, seal your work with spray fixative like Krylon® UV Resistant Clear Coating #1309 (Matte) or #1305 (Gloss) so it can be framed without glass.

Markers
Claybord can be used with all types of markers. Its smooth, absorbent surface makes for excellent line control without smudging or feathering. Sand paper or oil free steel wool can be used to vary the tonal values or to erase unwanted lines. Knives can also be used to create white highlights.

Markers are produced by a wide variety of manufacturers for many different purposes. Choose a style of pen that will accomplish the effects you need. Most markers work well and can easily be removed from the Claybord surface. Please be aware that the pigments in some markers can penetrate the Claybord surface making complete erasure difficult. Test any marker, for erasability, on a small piece of Claybord before using.

All things Ampersand, 
Karyn Meyer-Berthel 
Artist & Social Media Specialist 
Ampersand Art Supply 

Click here to explore the full selection of Ampersand panels and tools.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Featured Gallery Artist: Franciso Benitez

Somnus, encaustic on Encausticbord by Franciso Benitez, 16" x 32", 2011 
Francisco Benitez works in encaustic and also in oils, creating luminous portraits with a classical touch.

He divides his time between Europe and Santa Fe and you can find him online through his website, blog, Facebook and Twitter.  

Francisco's current gallery representation at the Chase Gallery in Boston, MA, and at the Galleria d'Arte Quadrifoglio, Siracusa, Italy.  


Click here to explore the full selection of Ampersand panels and tools.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Featured Gallery Artist: Billye Otten

Color Shrine Diptych, mixed media on Claybord, 12" x 72"

Billye Otten's beautiful work is influenced by her constantly changing surroundings, both conscious and unconscious.  

Click here to explore the full selection of Ampersand panels and tools.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Encaustic Tools


Palettes and Heat
A heated surface is used to hold cups of paint or to mix color right on the surface. For health and safety, the recommended working temperature is between 180–220 F. This is the R&F 16"x16" palette with attached brush holder and heating element. It is made with a sheet of 3/8" aluminum alloy and has been anodized to prevent reactivity that could discolor pigments. Adjustable Legs make for easy leveling of the palette. Brushes, thermometer, and palette cups are sold separately.


About Brushes
Use only natural-hair brushes for brushing on and fusing wax – synthetic brushes will burn or melt and cannot sustain the heat. Use palette knives for carving and applying wax, modeling tools for etching and carving, all types of absorbent papers for collage. Even dip or pour wax onto the surface. The possibilities are endless!
To clean brushes after use, keep a container of soy wax on your palette. Work your brushes in the wax and wipe clean. Soy wax (actually partially hydrogenated soybean oil) is an excellent alternative to paraffin for cleaning brushes for several reasons. Soybeans are a renewable resource, unlike paraffin, which is a petroleum product. Soy wax is non-toxic, burns cleaner than paraffin, and is naturally biodegradable. Soy wax is also easier to remove than paraffin wax, so after the color has been cleaned out of the brush, the brush can be washed with soap and water and is reusable in other mediums.

Cold Tools
R&F manufactures a full line of Cold Flexible Tools that can be used with or without heat to create a refined surface. Designed after the tools that the first practitioners of encaustic used in ancient times these tools bring a modern sensibility to today's encaustic artist.
Select from Circular, Oblong Angled, Diamond, and Oblong Flat shapes or a convenient set of all 4 tools. These tools are made of high carbon steel and are expertly finished.

Heated Tools
R&F Handmade Paints also offers heated encaustic tools to help the professional artist finesse the surface of their paintings with control and precision like never before at an affordable price point.  The Heated Hand Tools consists of the R&F handle, temperature regulator and an array of attachments that include flexible flat tips, as well as iron, horn and burnisher shapes. The flat tipped tools are offered in a set of 3.

Where to find Encaustic Tools: 
Palettes, brushes, cold tools, heated tools from Ampersand
Heating tools from Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch  
Supplies from Wax Works West
 
Click here for more information on Encaustic Resources.

All things Ampersand,
Karyn Meyer-Berthel
Artist & Social Media Specialist
Ampersand Art Supply

Click here to explore the full selection of Ampersand panels and tools.