I use Ampersand Pastelbord which is described as "a clay and gesso hardboard panel with a granular marble dust finish"
The pastelbord is available in four colours, sand, grey, green and white. I ordered samples of all four colours although up to now I have only worked on the sand one.
The Ampersand website shows the four colours and gives much more information on the product, including the diversity of media you can use on it.
What I want to do, is let you know what my experience of working with it has been.
The first thing I tried was a cheetah on one of the smaller panels, I used coloured pencil and some acrylic. Although it is desribed as being similar to working on sanded paper, I found that initially it was harder to work with because of its inflexibility.
Once I had adapted my working method things became much easier.
I used more pressure with the pencil, certainly on the early layers a soft touch is not required, but you can continue to add layer after layer.
I was also not successful in adding acrylic staight onto the surface, it was too rough for me to get a fine line. I did however successfully add touches of acrylic on top of the pencil.
For the background I blended the colours using the solvent 'Zest it', this worked really well.
Once finished I had no need to frame under glass, I simply varnished it.
Around the time I was starting a new painting I saw a couple of artists using Neocolor ll combined with coloured pencil on pastelbord and liked the effect they were able to get.
The Neocolor ll are made by Caran D'Ache and are a watersoluble stick of pigment.
I added these to the background and the fur of 'Shred' and liked how easy they were to work with.
Shred was the painting I was working on whilst demonstrating at the NEC, and people were amazed at the effect you could get with coloured pencils.
Again I used touches of acrylic to bring out a few highlights.
I will continue to use Pastelbord, I like the finished effect and the fact that you can frame without glass. It is vastly different from working on drafting film and the end result is different, so I would look at what I wanted the final resultto be in order to decide which surface to use.
The one draw back is that I have to order the Pastelbord from America, I have yet to find a supplier based in Europe.
To be continued............