If you always do what you've always done...
by Deborah Jeffrey
(San Luis Obispo, CA, USA)
You’ll always get what you always got.
I guess I should call this “my experimental phase.” I have always used Arches 100% cotton rag watercolor paper -- 140# cold-pressed in the early days, and 140# hot-pressed and 300# cold-pressed more recently.
About two years ago I heard about clayboard, a clay-coated hardboard panel that is comparable to cold-pressed watercolor paper, but allows color to be lifted back to white easily, while also leaving the richest, most vibrant color possible. The truly amazing thing about clayboard is that finished watercolors can be sealed with a Fixative and displayed without glass!
Okay, so not only did I “hear” about clayboard, I actually bought 4, 4-inch squares to try out. Well, those squares have been sitting in one of my "supply" drawers…until Saturday. When I took a break from my “collage” painting, I was in the mood to paint and found those little squares of clayboard. I grabbed them from the drawer, drew a quick pencil sketch directly onto the board, and started painting. I couldn’t believe my eyes! The surface is very much like painting on cold-pressed paper, BUT there is much more freedom, for people like me who like to work tight and detailed.
The clayboard surface allows you to paint in layers, but the colors are much more vibrant, and I’m sure I used less paint! And the true beauty is that if you make a mistake, I mean, if you change your mind = ), it is easy to lift off and re-work an area.
I loved the surface so much that one painting led to another...
All I can say is, try it...you'll like it!