30-in-30:Time behind the brush


Deer painting
Deer in landscape study
Watercolor on Ampersand Aquabord

Lately I’ve been working on Ampersand Aquabord. I don’t totally love it the way I love Arches #300 hot press, but I’m fond of the idea that I don’t have to frame it behind glass. That makes it far cheaper, even considering the cost of the board. And I also like that I can rub the paint away more easily to correct mistakes (although it’s surprisingly simple to blot out errors on the Arches).

For today’s painting, I experimented on this 9″ x 12″ Aquabord with some tried and true watercolor cheats techniques: Salt, alcohol, and masking fluid.


watercolor with salt on aquaboard
Detail: Watercolor with salt on Aquabord

Paint doesn’t really soak into the Aquabord, so it was difficult to rub off the salt without rubbing off the paint. But it does make an interesting dark texture.

Watercolor with masking fluid
Detail: Watercolor with masking fluid on Aquabord

I don’t normally use masking fluid, but occasionally I find a use for it. The texture of the board makes it hard to apply the mastic in an even stroke, and the rubber cement pickup picked up the paint too.


Watercolor with alcohol on Aquaboard
Detail: Watercolor with alcohol on Aquabord

I’ve never been happy with spraying alcohol on paper, but on the board I liked the random, irregular marks it made in the paint. It bears more experimentation.


I like these quick little studies. I try not to think about the end result, but rather try many different things. If you’re participating in Leslie Saeta’s daily paint project in January, I hope on some days you’ll just have a fling with your paint. Who knows what you’ll discover?






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