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View Full Version : Difficulty with Pastelbord Texture holding up


Maggy B
07-11-2012, 12:49 AM
I'm a fairly new artist working solely in pastels. I like the texture of Ampersand Pastelbord but the texture does not hold up for me. I usually start an underpainting with hard pastels and then use Turpenoid to wet the underpainting. I've noticed the board becomes smooth pretty quick.

Is the Turpenoid breaking down the texture? Has anyone else had this experience? I've thought maybe I filled the tooth but even if I rinse the board the texture does not come back. :confused:

I would appreciate any help I can get.

Thank you,
Maggie

allydoodle
07-11-2012, 01:23 PM
It sounds to me like the surface is breaking down, but I don't use pastelboard so I'm not sure. One thing you could try is to take a small board and apply just pastel (lots of it), then rinse it off with water. See if the tooth is affected, if it's not, then it might be the turpenoid that is affecting the surface. I wouldn't be surprised, I do know Wallis can get gummed up with alcohol, maybe turpenoid affects pastelboard. It may not be made to stand up to the turpenoid.

Hopefully somebody will stop by here and give us a first hand opinion.

Maggy B
07-11-2012, 05:34 PM
Thanks for your help. I'll do as you say.

Maggie

angie_v
07-11-2012, 07:42 PM
I used alcohol on Pastelmat (a piece that I'm working on right now), and the texture held up. Maybe that would give you the same underpainting effect that your after with the turpenoid? Maybe try a grittier paper instead as well, and then you'll be able to build up a lot of layers.

Aelfwynn
07-11-2012, 08:35 PM
Pastelmat and Pastelboard are products from two different companies, aren't they?

allydoodle
07-11-2012, 10:56 PM
Pastelmat and Pastelboard are products from two different companies, aren't they?

Yes, they're different products entirely. Pastelmat is a paper, and Pastelboard is a board. I'm thinking the turpenoid was a bit harsh on the Pastelboard, which is why you found it to be smooth after the underpainting step. Maybe it is not meant to be used with the turpenoid. I've played with Pastelboard on a student of mine's work, but not on my own work. She didn't do a turpenoid underpainting so I don't know if that's your problem though, I hope somebody weighs in here with more knowledge of the product.

angie_v
07-12-2012, 12:23 PM
Oh sorry, I thought that PastelMat and PastelBoard where the same...they're just so close in name!

Davkin
07-12-2012, 12:39 PM
According to their website the only difference between pastelbord and their other boards is that marble dust has been added so they should be no more susceptible to solvents than their Gessobord.

http://www.ampersandart.com/pastel.html

I used pastelbord once and found the texture too fine for my taste, so maybe you just need a lighter touch. Or maybe you got a defective board.

David

apramuk
07-12-2012, 07:32 PM
Hello everyone! Andrea from Ampersand here. I think I was emailing with Margaret about this a few weeks ago. Since then, we did a few tests to see what the surface would do with various solvents.

We tried the Gamsol and let it sit by itself on the surface. Nothing happened at all. Then, we tried Gamsol with pastels and rubbed the surface heavily just using our fingers - the surface smoothed out considerably, but when we used a soft brush instead, the surface held up just fine. I imagine it's the clay that might soften with the solvent and possibly release the marble dust particles when rubbed or worked too hard.

Also, we tried the same technique using only water, which is a mild solvent as you know and can be used effectively for painterly techniques with soft or hard pastels. The surface held up to the water beautifully when rubbing, brushing or when just letting it puddle on the surface.

I know the Pastelbord surface can be a bit delicate but is durable nonetheless and an unbeatable surface for pastels with mixed media. Of the various things we tried, I would suggest using the water with pastels for underpainting or a lighter touch and softer brush when using Gamsol or Turnpenoid, in this instance.

Hope this helps, feel free to ask me questions :). Have a good evening everyone!

Five
07-12-2012, 09:40 PM
Isn't the marble dust in an acrylic medium?

Alcohol is a solvent for acrylic paints/mediums.
I've used it to clean acrylic splashes off windows.
Usually mineral spirits won't affect the acrylic.

If the surface of the pastel board smooths out with just finger pressure it must not have much of a binder to hold it on. That doesn't say much for the board as a support for Pastel.
Really, unless a solvent is used, the surface should stay put. Finger pressure should not move it, nor even a stiff brushing as sometimes used to make corrections.

edm548
07-15-2012, 01:45 PM
Hi,

Sounds like you are filling up the tooth when you dissolve the pastel into the board. Maybe something grittier. Like Wallis or UART.

You may want to try a watercolor or oil wash underneath as well. Then you won't affect the tooth. Use the under painting as part of the painting. Lots of resources on line on how to do this.

Wallis and UART boards are available at ProArt Panels. They are priced lower than other places on the web.

Buy the small ones to practice and have some fun.

http://proartpanels.com

Maggy B
07-15-2012, 08:29 PM
Thanks everyone for your input on Pastelbord! I think I'll try using water to wet the pastels for the underpainting and/or watercolor. I still like the Pastelbord but maybe I do have too heavy of a hand.

If that does not work out, I'll give UART or Wallis boards a try. Thanks for the tip about proartpanels.com

Maggie :wave:

Maggy B
08-05-2012, 02:06 AM
Hi,

Sounds like you are filling up the tooth when you dissolve the pastel into the board. Maybe something grittier. Like Wallis or UART.

You may want to try a watercolor or oil wash underneath as well. Then you won't affect the tooth. Use the under painting as part of the painting. Lots of resources on line on how to do this.

Wallis and UART boards are available at ProArt Panels. They are priced lower than other places on the web.

Buy the small ones to practice and have some fun.

http://proartpanels.com

Thanks for the link and information on proartpanels.com. I ordered Wallis boards from them and will begin a new painting tomorrow. I think I need more tooth than Pastelbord. Maggy B

Potoma
08-06-2012, 05:57 PM
Pastelbord is great with watercolor (or pastel) and water or alcohol for an underpainting. I often leave a lot of watercolor showing, if going that way. I have found it completely durable and especially like that it is stand alone for travels with only a piece of glassine on top. While I have filled the tooth on occasion, it isn't the norm and I definitely don't have a soft hand. I mostly use hard pastels on them with accents in softer ones, so that takes care of that. One other advantage - they are a breeze to frame.

I have four sheets of Pastelmat gathering dust for several years now b/c I like Pastelbord so much!

JudyG
08-07-2012, 11:57 AM
I use Ampersand pastel board a lot and I love it. I will wash in the underpainting with Gamsol and a brush and I have never had a problem with the texture not holding up. I don't leave the Gamsol on to soak and I have never pushed it around with my fingers. I just brush it on. I like the pastel board because I don't mat my paintings, I frame them like I frame my oil paintings and the boards work beautifully for that.

Judy