5" x 7"
watercolor on Ampersand Aquabord
Stacy L. Rowan
Back in the Spring, Jeanette Jobson provided a lovely reference of a rhododendron for the April VSD challenge. I didn't have time to submit a painting during the challenge dates, but I saved the reference to tackle later. I pulled this reference out over the summer along with a 5 inch by 7 inch piece of Aquabord and gave it a whirl.
The Aquabord I used was actually an older piece because it was stamped on the back "Textured Claybord" which is an older name for this product. Watercolor paint handles a little differently on this board than it does on the Arches 140lb. cold press paper that I typically use. The biggest difference I found was that I had to be careful not to pick up the dry paint as I added additional layers. But I pretty quickly got used to the different feel.
Aquabord is very forgiving. As I mentioned above, the paint is easy to lift and you can get back to the white of the board without too much work if you are using non-staining pigments. (I don't typically use staining pigments so I can't comment on the ability to lift those.) I found that this lifting ability made me more adventurous in my painting. I wasn't worried about making a mistake that I couldn't recover from. I am trying to balance my normal technical approach with some more expressive painting, so the lifting ability encouraged me to experiment.
I also felt that my colors ended up more saturated than normal. I'm not sure if that is a result of the painting surface, the change in how I had to handle the paint or something else.
One of the things I really like about the Aquabord is that after spraying the painting it can be framed without glass. Framing without glass will eliminate the glare issue from light reflecting off the glass. It will also make it easier to ship the framed painting. I already have a nice mahogany colored plein aire frame and hope to be framing it next week.
Overall, I am very pleased with the outcome of this painting and am looking forward to starting another on Aquabord. I'd love to hear if anyone else has experience using this surface. Please feel free to leave your experiences in the comments.