Clayboard is this stuff that I love--a hardboard covered with this weird clay, Ampersand puts it out, makes a very unusual painting surface that isn't quite like gesso or anything else. I am hooked on it utterly. Mostly, I prefer the clayboard smooth, but they also put out this textured clayboard stuff for watercolor, which I wanted to try, so I picked up a little 8 x 10 piece and doodled up this little Roman legionnaire mouse on the sea shore. It was interesting stuff. I don't like it quite as much as the smooth--the texture gets in the way of some of the fine detail--but it does take the watercolor much better and can do much smoother gradients because of it. I'm not sure if I'm quite ready to throw over watercolor paper in favor of it, but I liked it enough that I may pick up another piece or two for when I get the urge to do more elaborate watercolors--the fact that it won't buckle at all, by itself, makes me terribly happy. I'm used to watercolor paper buckling like a soggy bronco, curving into non-Euclidean, death-defying Mobius strips, writhing around under the brush, and generally being a serious pain in the ass. There are lots of ways around this, but they all required a lot of advance planning--you have to soak the stuff in the bathtub and then staple it down to foam core or concrete or whatever. I am not capable of that kind of advance planning. I get an idea and I wanna do it NOW NOWNOWNOWNOOOOOW and this is no condition in which to be cavorting around the bathroom with a staple gun.
Ahem. Anyway! Original 8 x 10 watercolor/ink for sale, prints available, visit [link]
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