Ampersand Artist Surfaces are now at Jackson’s.
Ampersand Painting Panels
So many of our customers have asked us to stock Ampersand Panels and we knew they were of such good quality that we’ve been trying to get them in the UK for years. We are very pleased to now have Ampersand Artist Surfaces at Jackson’s!
Ampersand Painting Panels are extraordinary surfaces for your art. Ampersand began to create permanent art surfaces for artists 20 years ago. They manufacture an array of archivally prepared panels for painting in oils, acrylics, watercolour, encaustic, pastels, mixed media and more. The surface is extraordinary and the robust structure is impressive. With the watercolour panel Aquabord, you can paint as wet as you like without any cockling, can wipe back to pure white and when varnished the watercolour painting can be displayed without glass! On the Pastelbord the pastel ground is toothy enough to hold many layers of pastel colour, erases well and is waterproof. For oil and acrylic painting the Gessobord and Claybord offer very different amounts of absorbency.
The Museum Series Panels have the high quality required by professional artists, while the Value Series Artist Panels are designed to introduce panel painting to artists, hobbyists, and students at an affordable price. Conservators agree that a painting on a well-prepared rigid support will outlast those on a flexible surface such as stretched canvas.
Cradling is the bracing frame bars attached to the back of the panel. A cradled back increases the stability of the panel and allows you to attach hanging hardware and display your artwork easily, without a frame. All of the Ampersand panels are available uncradled (a flat panel with no wood bars), and some are available cradled in two depths: 22mm and 38mm. Ampersand’s premium plywood cradles are superior to any solid wood stretcher bar; their even-ply construction eliminates warping.
Museum Series Panels:
Museum Series Panels use premium hardboard, archivally sealed and prepared with different acid-free surface coatings for use with a variety of media from oils to watercolours. The unique ‘archival seal technology’ is a barrier created between the hardboard and the painting surface that prevents migration from the board to the painting that may discolour it.
Premium Hardbord is the base for all the coated panels. It is a solid core panel that is more stable than MDF with the highest density and least amount of linear expansion of any engineered or solid wood panel. The hardboard does not contain harmful oils, additives or formaldehyde.
Claybord is an absorbent surface for ink and a variety of mixed media. There are so many possibilities. The surface is similar in paintability to the clay gesso grounds used during the Renaissance and is the best choice for traditional egg tempera. The surface is sanded to an ultra-smooth, highly absorbent finish. Available uncradled and in both cradled depths in sizes 5×7 to 18×24 inches.
Gessobord has a slight tooth for oil and acrylics. The surface allows very soft blending without the interference of canvas texture. The firm, rigid surface is well suited to collage and mounting of papers and fabrics onto the board. Available uncradled and in both cradled depths in sizes 5×7 to 18×24 inches.
Comparing oil painting on Gessobord and Claybord
Gessobord has a less-absorbent surface to allow you to achieve familiar, longer brush strokes and blending time. Oil colours on Gessobord retain their glossy finish. Oils dry more slowly on Gessobord, allowing for more blending time and wet-into-wet techniques.
Claybord is absorbent like the powdery chalk gessoes of the Renaissance, perfect for indirect glazing techniques. Brush marks on Claybord are shorter and dry to a matte finish in initial layers, oils sink into a flat, matte sheen.
Aquabord for watercolours allows you to spray varnish your watercolour painting and display it without the need for glass. This amazing archival panel absorbs water like a fine paper. The unique surface allows you to lift colours back to pure white, makes colours brilliant and provides unprecedented control over watercolour applications. Available uncradled and cradled in 22mm depth in sizes 5×7 to 16×20 inches.
Pastelbord is a clay coated panel with an even marble dust finish, available in white or grey. It has a toothy surface that is great for layering and layering pastels, it is waterproof and is also a favourite of acrylic painters because it leaves the acrylics open for longer and allows blends that you cannot achieve on canvas. It is also great for coloured pencil and charcoal. Only available uncradled in sizes 5×7 to 16×20 inches. These panels have a slightly beveled edge.
Scratchbord is a rigid panel that allows detailed etching and is the choice of professional scraper board artists. Scratchbord is completely repairable by reapplying India Ink to scratch marks. You can also add colour back into scratchboard, which works best using their special inks. Only available uncradled in sizes 5×7 to 16×20 inches. Tools for drawing on scraperboard and inks for adding colour are both available.
Encausticbord is the newest Ampersand panel, developed with R&F Encaustic, it is highly absorbent for use with hot wax painting and mixed media. The ground is not only heat resistant and highly absorbent, but also holds tight to layers of wax and collage without the fear of cracking or separation. Absorbent ground pulls wax applications deep into the surface for unparalleled bond. Works great with charcoal, ink, graphic markers, collage, coloured pencil, watercolour pencil, screen printing, block printing and more! Available uncradled and in both cradled depths in sizes 5×7 to 16×20 inches.
Value Series Panels:
These panels are designed to introduce panel painting to artists, hobbyists, and students at an affordable price.
Artist Panels Primed:
These panels use top-quality MDF instead of the hardboard used in the Museum Series. They are not first sealed with the Archiva-seal before being primed. They are primed with acrylic gesso, not the clay coatings used in the Museum Series panels. The panels have a semi-absorbent acid-free ground that is excellent for painting in oils, acrylics, watermedia and also for drawing. They are available in a super smooth Primed Smooth surface or a Canvas Texture surface.
• Artist Panel Primed Smooth
A super smooth surface on 3mm MDF. The primed cradled panels have completely white sides as the priming covers the entire side including the edge of the MDF, so there is no 3mm brown line like on the Museum Series panels.
• Artist Panel Canvas Texture
Canvas Texture surface on 10mm MDF (with a keyhole hanging slot in the back).
Available uncradled and in both cradled depths in sizes 8×8 to 18×24 inches.
Artist Panels UnPrimed:
• Artist Panel Unprimed Basswood
The Unprimed Basswood panel is handcrafted using a non-flexible basswood top, sanded perfectly smooth and ready to seal and prime with the ground of your choice.
Available only cradled, in both depths in sizes 8×8 to 18×24 inches.
Why Paint on Panel?
- Brighter Colours
Light reflects off the panel rather than absorbing into the canvas fabric or paper, making colours brighter and truer.
- Better Brush Control
The rigidity of the panel provides better line and overall brush control. Better for heavy applications of paint and pallet knife painting as the surface does not “give” during application. Better for reductive work and wiping techniques too!
- No Stretcher Bar Marks/Long-Term Even Appearance
Unlike fabric on a stretcher, paintings on panel will remain solid and will not sag or dent. There is no need for restretching! You can paint edge to edge with consistency.
- No Paint Layer Cracking
Unlike fabric or paper, paintings on panel will not crack over long periods of time. Conservators agree, reducing movement on a painting prevents cracking and splitting in the paint film. Panels are better for inflexible paints such as oils, egg tempera, encaustic, distemper and casein.
Ampersand Panel Testing
Lucy Tittle and I tested some of the panels.
What surprised me the most about Ampersand Aquabord was its ability to withstand water. The packaging advised washing the surface before use to remove any air bubbles, which I did, despite having a perfectly smooth, pockmark free board. The board not only took the heavy initial wash without even the slightest hint of cockling, but also a many layers of extremely wet watercolour paint. I found being able to work, without worrying about damaging a paper surface, very freeing and discovered that I was able to paint far faster and looser than is my wont. Not having to stretch paper using tape and board or a paper stretcher also saved valuable time. The surface of the Aquabord is smooth, velvety and a delight to paint on. Wet paint can be lifted from the surface of the board to reveal the white, stain-free Aquabord beneath. Areas that have been left to dry can easily be reactivate with a damp brush and reworked without trace of the original lines remaining.
Having used various different types of scraper board, I was eager to try an artist’s quality board. The ink board resists water well, both moisture from hands and damp cat paws, and does not transfer to skin. The Indian ink scratches away easily (no need for hard pressure) and cleanly to produce crisp marks. The ink dust can be brushed away effortlessly from the scratched surface of the board. Very subtle marks can be made by using the knife lightly and bold marks can be achieved with more confident strokes. Scratchbord resists accidental scratches and can be transported easily.
Click on the underlined link to go to the current offer on the Ampersand Painting Panels on the Jackson’s Art Supplies website.
Postage on orders shipped standard to mainland UK addresses is free for orders of £39 or more.