Search This Blog

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tips for Painting on Pastelbord

Front Yard, 12" x 16" on Pastelbord by Adriana Meiss
Pastelbord™:  A uniquely coated museum quality panel suitable for pastels, coated with a fine marble dust finish comparable to sanded paper except more durable and more versatile.  

Since pastels are a fragile medium, they need a gritty surface to grab, especially when building in layers.  Pastelbord can be used wet or dry with soft, hard, or oil pastels using traditional pastel techniques or even with acrylics.  As with all museum series panels, the surface is pH neutral, non-yellowing and archival.

Makyes Road, 7" x 5" on Pastelbord by Adriana Meiss
For those of you new to either pastels or Pastelbord, let's look at some tips on using Pastelbord to it's fullest potential.  
  • Start your piece using hard pastels and then cover with soft pastels to save the expensive pastels for finish work.
  • For maximum detail, use pastel pencils in the finishing stages
  • Consider using watersoluble pastels as the surface can be used wet or dry without buckling or curling.
  • Panels are available in sand, grey, green and white for alternative undertones.
  • For alternative ground colors or even metallics, lay down a watercolor or acrylic wash with a brush before using pastels.  Either work over the wet surface while it is wet or after it has dried.
  • Try misting the surface with water before laying down an underpainting, to create a deep even tone.
  • Consider shaving pastels with a razor over the panel and misting to soften.  Use a brush for blending as Barb Pinc paints in this demonstration.
  • To lift color, use a wet brush to lightly press pigment and wipe off on a towel.
  • For blending pastels, try using a wet brush to go back in and soften edges or blend colors.
  • Frame the finished piece behind glass with a spacer.

Awake in the World by Ken Muenzenmayer, acrylic on Pastelbord

Have you considered painting on Pastelbord?  
  • Try painting on Pastelbord with acrylics.   Acrylic paint is known for drying quickly; however, Pastelbord's open surface allows for the paint to dry slower, allows for lifting of the paint during working time.  
  • Pastelbord's ground options create a natural middle ground color for painting, so that the tone can easily be highlighted or darkened for dramatic work.
  • Pastelbord's clay surface absorbs the pigmented washes well, consider mixing water with the acrylics to get a full rich color wash.
  • Transparent pigments work well to show the layers of color and still allow for absorption into the ground.
  • Drybrush works well on the rough surface of Pastelbord to show deep layers of color.
Since Pastelbord is now 40% off at retailers around the country, it is a good time to make a purchase.  To find a retailer near you:  Pastelbord on Sale.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Aquabord with watercolorist Karen Vernon

Sunflowers in Blue, watercolor on Aquabord
Karen Vernon is an active painter with a four decade resume in watercolors, showing her work around the country and listed in galleries and museums worldwide.  Karen works exclusively on Ampersand Aquabord™, teaching several workshops a year for all levels of watercolorists.  You might also remember our mention of Karen as the founder of ACT, Artists Changing Tomorrow.  

Starting this month, in a few weeks, Karen will be teaching workshops at The Gallery at Round Top

The Secrets to Amazing Watercolor Florals
April 20, 21, 22, 2012
9:30 - 3:30
$285
$100 deposit reserves you place
Partial supplies provided for a $25 supply fee.

Beyond the Ordinary
Fun, playful, experimental! Go beyond the ordinary. Loosen up. Discover new approaches.
June 13 - 15, 2012
$285
$100 deposit reserves you place

For class registrations, contact Karen at ARTtgart@aol.com or call 979-249-4119

Karen will also be teaching other workshops around the country this year.  To see more of her work, find out about her workshop schedule, or sign up for her newsletter, check out her website:  www.karenvernon.com.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Ampersand Faces: Andrea Pramuk

Andrea in her studio, working on Aquabord
Ampersand has several talented artists on staff, so it is high time that I share with you the art they are making.  

Andrea Pramuk is the marketing director for Ampersand, and many of you may know her via our social networks, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  Or, you may have met Andrea when you've called Ampersand to ask questions about the boards, about advertising, about workshops or just wanting to share your art.  She wears many hats, both with Ampersand and on her own as a full time working artist.  Since Ampersand is a young company with a smaller staff, many people play a lot of roles.  Andrea has been with Ampersand now for 16 years, moving into the marketing director and graphic designer role straight from graduate school.

Call me Baby, alcohol ink, wax paper image transfer on Claybord
Andrea's art began in utero it seems, as she hails from an active art family and was in the studio at her own easel by the age of two.  Her father's way of guarding his own time to paint was to set Andrea up nearby so that he could work and she would find the studio a comforting place.  She has painted continuously since then, studying art at Kansas City Art Institute, earning a BFA and moving to Austin to study at the University of Texas for her MFA.  


Her career is blossoming, as Andrea regularly sells and shows her work around the country,
developing her style both with the mediums she is using and with where her art takes her.  Earlier works see Andrea's skill as a figurative painter, tapping into oils and acrylics.  The most recent abstract works are watercolors, alcohol inks, oils and a range of mixed media.  In her profession at Ampersand, Andrea comes across many art materials and hones her own practice based on testing and trying new products and gathers inspiration™ from other artists along the way. But even in the midst of all the materials she could try, Andrea chooses Claybord™, Aquabord™ and Encausticbord™ for most of her work because each is so well suited to mixed media and experimentation. She says “I never worry about the surfaces getting overworked or damaged with my heavy handed treatments and unorthodox use of materials. It’s also important to me that I use the most archival materials and practices for my art.”

Resonance, alcohol inks on Claybord
To connect further with Andrea, friend her on Facebook or her Facebook Page, follow her on Twitter, or check out  her blog.  

Right now Aquabord™, Pastelbord™, Scratchbord™ and Artist Panel are on sale at local dealers around the country.  Click on the banner to be directed to a participating dealer near you.