Watercolor paintings on aquaboard require no stretching, mats or glass.
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When the paintings started running out of our extra bedroom, my husband suggested we start doing outdoor street festivals.
The watercolor paintings were on traditional watercolor paper. They were matted and framed under glass.
We enjoyed doing the street festivals. Then, at a festival on the Gulf Coast of Florida the winds started gusting up to 60 MPH.
We were afraid to allow customers into the tent. If the tent went down with people inside, there was a chance they could be injured by broken glass.
If paper watercolor paintings get moisture behind the glass, they could be water stained or grow mildew. The painting could be damaged permanently.
After we came home from the festival I started searching catalogues and magazines for watercolor art supplies. I came across Ampersand's Claybord. It is hardboard covered with pH neutral kaolin clay. It is an archival support.
Claybord has a smooth surface like hot press watercolor paper.
Then Ampersand started making Aquabord. (They left the "a" out of aquaboard to make their brand name.)
It has a texture similar to traditional cold press watercolor paper.
These panels may also be used for any water based media such as; gouache, acrylic or ink.
are much lighter weight because they don't need to frame with glass. They are resistant to dirt, moisture and mildew.
There is no glare from glass. And no danger of broken glass.
You may get the panels cradled on the front of a wood support. Then you may hang and display the painting without a frame.
Unlike watercolor paper, the Aquaboard will not buckle or warp no matter how much water you apply.
The light reflects off the clay surface and shines up thru your watercolors to create bold, lively colors.
Watercolors on paper sink into the paper and they lose their brilliance.
Lift wet paint off with a damp, soft brush. If the layer of paint underneath has dried, it will remain fixed when you take off the top layer.
Take dry paint off with a damp, stiff brush to remove paint all the way down to the surface.
You may also use a knife, claybord tools or sandpaper to make highlights and remove paint.
The spray protects the painting and it does not require a mat or glass for display.