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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Featured Artist: Dustin Dattilio


Rosie, 12" x 16", Gessobord

Newly graduated BFA artist, Dustin Dattilio came on our radar a few months back when he was sharing his ultra-realism paintings of fowl and other wildlife through Facebook.  Since Dustin captures the look of a high chroma photograph in his technique, I was intrigued about his method and came to find that he uses a combination of media to achieve his look. Dustin has spent endless hours perfecting his technique and turning what started as a 
college hobby into a full time career.

Dustin began college at Castleton University in Vermont with the aim to become an Athletic Trainer, but enjoyed his downtime pursuit of drawing.  In his senior year, Dustin moved fully into Graphic Design and earned a BFA.  

His natural inclination to study and work on wildlife comes from a full background of hunting and fishing, along with encouragement from his grandfather, who does animal wood carvings.  Dustin often chooses his subjects based on requests or seasonal work, as well as interesting commissions, like the recent piece, Morning Thunder, for the National Wild Turkey Federation banquet this past February.  


Morning Thunder, 16" x 20", Gessobord

Starting with airbrush to get a soft, almost blurry, background, Dustin carefully renders his subject matter in the foreground, using acrylics.  Upon discovering Gessobord™ for his work, Dustin shares that the panels give him the consistently smooth support and brilliant color he prefers.  "I use Gessobord for a couple of reasons. The first being that I've found that they seem to hold colors better than canvas. Another reason is that canvas is great, but it's also very expensive. There are so many brands out there of canvas that hold the paint different than the next, so I just stick with an affordable, dependable surface.  When it comes to mailing out and handling my paintings, I don't have to worry as much about the canvas getting a bubble or something poking through it."

Dustin can be found online quite a bit, sharing his work, his process and upcoming works for sale.  You can find him on his website or his Facebook page. Dustin also does quite a bit of wood burning work and sells prints of his work as well as the originals.  

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, March 15, 2016

Claybord™ Basics

Claybord™ is made using 1/8" true artist hardboard and features Ampersand’s amazing kaolin clay ground formula similar in paintability to the clay gesso grounds used during the Renaissance. The surface is sanded to an ultra-smooth, highly absorbent finish so your paint colors remain true and brilliant. 

This museum quality panel our most versatile panel, and it is excellent for india, pigmented and alcohol inks, egg tempera, acrylics, collage, pencil, pens, airbrush, casein, watercolor, gouache, mixed media and even oils.  It also bonds well with adhesives to mount paper and fabrics.  Work the surface by thinly applying paint or ink, then remove it, reapply it, even scratch through it to add contrast, texture and fine details. Apply paint and ink using brushes, sponges, palette knives, paper towels, airbrush, technical pens and painting tools. Claybord is also an excellent printing surface and can also be used for image transfers.

With Claybord, paints and inks can be manipulated to vary tonal value, create detail and to develop highlights and correct mistakes. Various artist tools can be used such as Ampersand scratchboard tools, hobby knives, razor blades, etching tools, sand paper, oil-free steel wool, and electric erasers. Claybord's clay coating allows for the use of sgraffito techniques to cut into the surface and re-expose the white clay ground, similar to our ink coated Scratchbord. The coating is 7 to 10 dry-mils thick allowing for multiple cut-ins or erasers. The smooth finish and the absorbency of the clay ground allows the use of an abrasive like oil-free steel wool or sand paper to remove pigment without damaging the finish. 

For more information on using Claybord:

Only Ampersand builds their cradles by hand with premium grade 13-ply birch plywood for maximum stability and a clean, finished look from edge to edge. Choose from 3/4", 1.5" and 2" Deep, all made in the USA.

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, March 8, 2016

New Products at NAMTA

We have a wonderful new product line coming soon and I'm thrilled to be sharing a preview of it with you.  If you have kept up with us on Instagram and Facebook, you'll know that we shared our new line of frames at NAMTA this past weekend. 

Our new floater frames for our panels will come out in retail stores this coming fall.  A complete solution for framing 7/8" and 1.5" cradled panels!  

The price range will be comparable to our Museum Series panels, cradled Gessobords, for example.  I will share more details as they come and keep you all posted on this awesome new addition to our product line.







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

Friday, March 4, 2016

Featured Artist: Soña Holman

Holman
Dreaming the World
Austin artist, Soña Holman's work is as progressive in appearance and technique as her life has been, traveling around the world and gathering culture to bring into her multi-media work.  It is no surprise that her work reflects movement and high energy, and her inspiration is found in the transient environment around her.  "I like to impart a sense of movement in my work, an aliveness, giving a feeling of shifting entry and change that connects to the spiritual. I use expressive, organic form in transient, shifting environments and the energy/life force inherent in all things," she explains.


Holman
Beneath the Blue Sky
Soña's rich, colorful paintings are a combination of acrylic and venetian plaster with wood-burned drawing on our basswood panels. She has been working with our basswood panels because the smooth finish and soft grain allow her to combine her drawing and painting in a completely original way.  Soña began wood burning upon entering a drawing exhibition in Austin, and it evolved with some input from a Sandra Duran Wilson workshop into Soña's current series "Pyrographic Paintings."  She compares the wood burning drawing to "drawing in butter" on the surface of the basswood, and credits Ampersand for making panels with high archival standards.  

Holman
Free Spirit
Soña exhibits her work frequently and has several pieces now hanging through April 5th at the Austin Bergstrom International Airport in the West Airside Gallery.  You can also see most of her current work on her website and blog:  www.sonaholman.com/paintings

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.