View Full Version : What is "Matboard"

12-22-2002, 10:25 AM
I have heard this term over and over again. Pastel on matboard.
I am afraid I just can't figure out what it is?

Can someone explain it to me and where do you get it?

Thanks geri

12-22-2002, 11:09 AM
Mat Board or Mount Board is the card that borders a painting when it's framed.

It comes in many assorted colours and provides the 'window' of the painting.

Hope this helps.

12-22-2002, 12:37 PM
Do most people paint directly on the mat board or do they mount their pastel paper onto it? I've never used mat board, but I have used something called illustration board (which I assume is pretty darn close to mat board! :D) It was an interesting surface to work on....not much tooth at all.

12-22-2002, 01:58 PM
image size - 12x16, pastel on matboard

On someones painting in Plein-aire. They have painted on it.

I think CH Clements. Is that Carly?

But they show a painting and just say pastel on matboard.

I, too, only know matboard as matting "around" a completed painting.

I guess everyone else is stumped also.


ps, just went over to plein-aire. It is Carly and I posted the question to her over there. But, I have seen others say the same thing.

12-22-2002, 03:22 PM
Haven't tried pastelling on matboard but certainly have done watercolours on it. It won't take too much 'wetness' but if you choose an acid free brand it makes a good working surface.

Different ones have varying amounts of texture so I guess some would have enough tooth for pastel. Also a useful base for adding a sanded primer.


12-22-2002, 06:45 PM
I use matt boards coated with Golden medium for pastel mixed with some acrylic colour
first I gesso the back(to keep board from warping and it becomes acid free)
then do the side of the board I plan to work on with the above mixture, I lay it on with a large housepainting brush, but it might go on smoother with a foam roller?
I find it to be a inexspensive way to get a large surface to work upon, also uses up the scraps of matt board laying around the studio, and have used illustration boards the same way.

12-22-2002, 08:14 PM

Really!!! Now that's interesting. I have lots of illustration board that I used for oil washes.

Now where would one get this "Golden" medium? Just at an art supply store?

Do you have to mix it with acrylic or could you apply it by itself, dry it and then use pastel and turp or watercolor washes or the such on the dry Golden medium?

Thanks for your reply.......


12-22-2002, 09:25 PM
Hi Geri
I think any supplier that handles Golden/Grumbacher products could get a jar for you. You might be able to see the texture of the gound (brush strokes) in this detail
this is on illustration board
I mix the acrylic colour and ground together then apply with a large brush

12-22-2002, 09:27 PM
I have done some pastels straight on black mat board. It was not a glossy board but had a little bit of texture.
I think there are a lot of different ways to do it.


12-22-2002, 10:10 PM
Hi Geri, I see that you got your question answered. I purchase the mat board that I use my pastels on at the local Hobby Lobby, but any artsupply or frame shop that will sell it in large sheets will do. I usually select colors that are deep purple, burgundy, deep red, dark blue, deep green....so that the pastels will have a brighter look when laid down on the darker toned surface.

I paint right on the surface of the mat board without any priming, but recently I bought some Golden acrylic ground for pastels and I think I'll try it over the surface to create a more sand like surface. The mat board will hold several layers of color...I like to do little blending so occasionally I'll spray fix a layer and begin again over that one to brighten the color with softer pastels. Mat board doesn't take wet too well...so if you do use watercolor or another method to tone it, use the hair dryer for quicker drying. It will also buckle if wet too much! Gesso the back side to pull the warp out.

I buy large 30x40 sheets and cut it into smaller sizes. I like it for location work because I don't need to tape it down like paper. I just clip it to my masonite board and pop it into the french easel...and I'm painting!

The thread with my fruit paintings is done on velour mat board. It was interesting...haven't tried it on location yet, but it held a lot of color and I built up a lot of layers on the apple especially.


12-22-2002, 10:31 PM
I use mat board a lot, with Art Spectrum pastel primer to give it more tooth. There are lots of colours in the primer range, as well as clear.

12-23-2002, 02:57 PM
Thanks everyone,

WC! was down this a.m. for me, so I took the opportunity to search out "Golden" medium as well as Art Spectrum primer.

Both are sold at all the on-line stores I visited. So is matboard and illustration board.

I will just have to give it a try!!!!!

thanks again, geri