More About Clayboard

Colored Pencil Experimentation on Clayboard
 Image lighted with Corel Painter2018 to make results more visible.

Today, I used the little sample I started yesterday to experiment  with more of its properties. I am still using Prismacolor Premium Colored Pencils on Ampersand's Encaustic Clay Board 2.5 x 3.5 (ATC size). I also used one of my Inktense pencils today.

Yesterday I applied heat to blend the pencils. Today I used layering, a small swatch of Gamisol, paper blenders, blue sticky hanging material (similar to kneaded erasers) and water. I attempted lifting color and scratching with a dull polymer clay tool.

Clayboard takes about 5 light layers of colored pencils, but the last layers actually move the previous layers somewhat resulting in tiny dirty "balls" of color that are easily brushed off gently. Blending is better applying lighter colors on top of the 3rd layer and used more as a blender tool and to desaturate.

Clayboard does not react negatively with the Gamisol. I wondered if it would be absorbed and spread across the surface, but that did not happen. Same with adding water to the Inktense color. Thre was no absorption and spread across the surface. The Inktense worked like a watercolor pencil on this dense surface.

Lifting was not successful with the sticky material, nor was my attempt to scratch away color with my dull tool. I will try a sharper tool another day.

I love how the clayboard texture (without any solvents or heat) makes the pencils look metallic on the surface. You can avoid that by covering the valleys very meticulously with lightly layered  strokes. However a metallic look can be a nice effect you cannot usually obtain with colored pencils.

Looking at the sample from the side I can see some of my strokes in the wax buildup, but the surface is not bumpy like it can be on other surfaces. Of course the heat takes away most of the visible strokes and surface unevenness. Heat leaves a soft velvetty finish.

So that is my update. Clayboard is not too expensive and has some merit for special effects. Like all abrasive surfaces, clayboard (even the "smooth" version) can eat more of your pencil tips than illustration or bristol boards.

One advantage to the clay board is that it comes in 3 thicknesses and some are cradled. The 1/8" boards can be set into a regular frame without glass or backing, just a light finishing spray like Krylon.

I hope you have a chance to give this a try. Start with a small board.

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