Search This Blog

Friday, August 29, 2014

Panel Edges

Recently, we had a question about SID effecting the paint on the panel edges.  An artist was concerned about paint on the edges of the untreated panel, not cradle, and how that might effect his work long term.  Below, Dana Brown answers the question.

"The condition of SID is one of acrylic paint and acrylic dispersion ground (acrylic gesso). We make broad recommendations to sealing the painting surfaces of wood, as a separate step from priming, primarily due to the common use of acrylic gesso as a primer, but also to maintain a painting surface that is as acid-free as possible. It is also based on an understanding that proper habits can become good practice when using various materials. We know that sometimes artists will pick up a piece of wood to use as a substrate, not knowing its density or acid-level, and sealing the panel will give the painting a 'fighting chance,' of lasting.

Because of the differing characteristics of each paint type mentioned, I will address each separately.

Acrylics dripped over the edge (that thin, 1/8” thickness) will encounter some level of acids. It will also take on a level of discoloration. Support Induced Discoloration (SID) is not a dark blackening or even a dark browning of the paint film, and it is generally only noticeable in areas of white and generally only in the wettest of applications. This is why it is commonly associated with the applications of acrylic gesso, applied directly onto a wooden support. Areas of color mixtures or darker colors, especially when applied undiluted or more thickly, will not display noticeable discoloration in the same sense. If the entire acrylic painting is done onto an unsealed wooden surface, the levels of acids in the wood (which vary greatly from wood species and type) can cause damage to the artwork. The amount of acid or discoloration from a 1/8” edge is very small and will not put the painting in jeopardy of lasting or any continuous damage. The acid level in our hardboards is nearly neutral at that, and it is one of the reasons that we selected aspen as the overlay for our product. To sum up in reference to acrylic paint, if the drips or painted edge are white, applied quite wet, or thinly, discoloration may be noticeable. To prevent this, you can apply GAC 100 or PVA Size to the edges to create a barrier seal to the exposed, cut edges. For most painters’ practices, the effect of a few drips over the edge of a 1/8” thick panel is not damaging to the artwork or its appearance, and its durability is not at risk.

Gouache and oil colors are not susceptible to SID and the reason to carefully seal the panel before priming is again a rule of thumb, put forth by the general practice of acrylic dispersion grounds and acrylic based priming layers. The main issue with gouache dripping over the edge or being painted on the edge of a dark, brown panel is mainly that the edge may not be sufficiently absorbent to give a lasting mechanical bond between the paint and the panel’s edge. Also, the dark, brown tone may cause paint applications to look darker, requiring multiple applications.

For oil colors, there is also no risk of SID. The risk is more of great amounts of oil paint, directly applied to wood, soaking into the wood and oxidizing within the structure of the wood. This is even contentious amongst art conservationists and may be less of a risk than previously believed. The 1/8” thick edge of a panel will not allow for a risky level of oxidation within the wood support. The oils in oil colors will actually pass on some conditioning or preservation qualities to the wooden support, similar to applying oil to wooden furniture to recondition it."

-Dana Brown
Artist & Customer Support at Ampersand

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

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Featured Gallery Artist: Jennifer Bain

New World, acrylic, graphite, colored pen and ink, 36" x 36", 2011

Artist Jennifer Bain mixes acrylic, graphite, colored pen and ink on large scale Claybord works.  You can find her work at the Skidmore Contemporary Gallery in California and at the Alysia Duckler Gallery in Oregon.

All things Ampersand,
Karyn Meyer-Berthel

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

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Artist: Margaret Munz-Losch

Merkin-Song of Swans, 48"x 36"
Tennessee based artist Margaret Munz-Losch brings together the natural world and human identity, sometimes in an uneasy way to grab the viewers attention, but always in a beautifully rendered and designed finished piece.  Margaret honed her art skills on her own, learning to cultivate her attention to detail along with her vision for the unspoken pieces of life.  

Margaret works from her own photographs and reference material, creating a rough sketch first before drawing on panel.  Then she blocks in the work with tinted gesso or acrylic paint before using layers of oil based pencils and wax based colored pencils.  Her pieces take hundreds of hours, taking into consideration the grew detail and size of her work.

Black Cat, 30" x 30"
Her choice of materials in combination is just as unique as her artistic perspective, bringing together acrylic and colored pencil on Gessobord.  Margaret came to find Ampersand through an art material catalogue and has created many of her works on custom sizes, unusual for a colored pencil artist.  She explains, "Good materials are imperative when you want your work to be all it can be. There is no point in working against yourself especially when the work is so detailed and time consuming. There is beyond a world of difference between fine quality materials and poor quality. I can not stress it enough. Spending more on an Ampersand panel ultimately saves you time, money, and frustration."  Gessobord is perfect for Margaret's work, with a little tooth for her pencil and the ability to layer paint.  

Early Bird, 70" x 30"
Margaret's work is on exhibit right now at the Jonathan Ferrara Gallery in New Orleans until August 23rd and then some of the pieces will go to the Texas Contemporary Art Fair in Houston in early September.  You can also read more about this exhibit and Margaret's work on the Picayune Times website: Margaret Munz-losch sketches the Psychology of Childhood.

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.

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.