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Friday, March 14, 2014

Aquabord 2.0 Revisited

Aquabord™ has undergone a number of important changes a few years ago due to a change in one of the raw materials we use to produce this unique surface for watercolors. We saw this challenge as an opportunity to make Aquabord even better than before. While the newer Aquabord is in essence, the very same, it does have a few differences: 
Above: New Version
Below:  Older Version

1. The new Aquabord™ surface has a flatter, more even texture. It’s less pebbly and feels more like a cold press watercolor paper.
2.  The new surface is slightly softer. You need to use less pressure when wet-lifting paint just like you would on paper.
3.  The new surface is more absorbent and emphatically more like watercolor paper (see helpful tips below).
4.  The new surface requires less water for washes and blends. It behaves more like a cold press watercolor paper now, so you don’t need as much water for wicking the paint across the surface – the paint moves more freely and blends beautifully.
5.  The vibrant color you’re accustomed to still applies.
6.  The lovely eggshell color of the natural clay you’re accustomed to is still around.
7.  You can still seal your watercolors and frame them without glass.

The new Aquabord surface is very porous. You may see some air bubbles come up when you apply very wet washes of color. To prevent this, flush the surface first before you start painting. Take a flat brush and apply big washes of water across the surface. Allow all the air bubbles to release. When the surface reaches a damp stage, then you can start applying watercolor to the surface. By allowing the air to escape first, you are basically opening up your surface to accept the pigment. This process will prevent those tiny air bubbles from affecting the consistency of the smooth transitions in your washes. 

More than a dozen professional watercolor painters and avid Aquabord users repeatedly tested our trial runs until we had the surface they felt worked best. We think the newer Aquabord is well worth the changes and we hope you do too. 
Above:  Washes on Aquabord
Below:  Washes on watercolor paper

We greatly appreciate thoughts about the reformulation, and you are welcome to share your feedback with us. We make Aquabord for you and it matters to us that you have a successful experience with our products.

Ampersand Aquabord™ panels are now available in both 7/8in and 1.5in Cradle Profiles that offer more flexibility for hanging and framing your work. Featuring a 7/8in and 1.5in total panel depth, these new cradle profiles are handcrafted with premium grade 13-ply birch plywood, designed to fit both standard canvas and floater frames. The cradle can easily be painted or stained to complement the artwork or primed in order to wrap the image around the edges. As with all Ampersand Museum Series panels, this product is eco-friendly, artist safe and made in Buda, Texas from US grown renewable wood sources. Other available options include a 1/8" flat panel and 2" deep cradle. 
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.

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