I’m sorry to say I’m still not able to stand at my easel and paint (see here for the riveting reason why).
I have managed a little bit of sitting at my desk though. Early last week I ordered some claybord panels. They fascinate me, and one of my favourite things is discovering new painting surfaces. These claybords are smoooooth. As a baby’s bottom. They’re silky clay. They look a little like a matt tile.
Now according to the blurb, you can put any medium on these: watercolour, ink, acrylic, and oil, though Ampersand, the makers, stress though it can be used for oil, many oil painters find the paint dries too quickly to work with. You can also scratch it, and sand it back to a bare surface again. Wowzers.
I’m not sure why I thought I would get along with these. I mean, I can’t even watercolour on regular paper. Though that fact still remains, I’m still strangely enamored with this surface.
First, I tried acrylic. I wasn’t particularly interested in using it in my usual way: instead I thinned it down quite a bit with airbrush medium and flow release, and a bit of water. When you paint it on, the pigment doesn’t behave as it does on paper. Clay has a different sort of capillary action (I’m guessing), and being smooth, the whole thing can get out of control very quickly.
I absolutely love the edges the acrylic created. I also liked how the pigment granulated in the bottom left.
I also tried a section of the painting with thicker paint. It did go on, but didn’t cover very well. The beauty of claybord is it’s surface and the luminescence it can add to a piece, so I don’t see the point of covering over it so opaquely.
Next up was watercolour:
I love this as a piece of work. I’m not sure the photograph does justice to the quality and translucency of the watercolour though. Here’s a close up:
The thing I do find a little frustrating about the claybord is though it looks white, it photographs a little on the peachy side.
I did of course have a bash with oils. My word – oils dry quicker on claybord than acrylics do on any surface. I was shocked. I tried to put them on thinly, diluted down with Zest it, then linseed, hoping to keep things luminous, but no. The thing about claybord, in what ever medium I tried was, painting over layers that were still wet or damp just meant you went back to the claybord. It was only when I left the claybord overnight that I could add more layers – but only very carefully. So oil on claybord is not for me, but I did quite like this little section here where the Zest it created this pattern:
I also, naturally, tried a bit of pastel over the top of the water colour and acrylic – no can do. Imagine rubbing pastel on glass. It just didn’t cling at all. Having said that, I didn’t try my very expensive soft pastels, this was my Amazon-under-ten-pounds-set.
Ok, I’m blogged out so I’ll try and post part two later this week, and share my attempts at landscape painting on claybord and how vodka came in handy, but not in the way you think!
p.s. this is not a sponsored post! Just if you were wondering.