Abstract Watercolor Landscape on Aquabord: May Madness Day 16

Painting every day in May with my talented buddies Debi Riley and Margaret Parker Brown has been lots of fun so far. I’ve been enjoying trying out a new (for me) medium in acrylics and having a go with new surfaces as well, such as the one featured today.


This is an abstract watercolor landscape on 4 x 4″ Aquabord, made by Ampersand.   This is a patented, acid-free and archival surface adhered to (my best guess) Masonite board.   (It smells just like Masonite, and I LOVE that smell.   You already knew I was a bit odd, right?)   You may recall my post from last week in which I tried this surface with (mostly) fluid acrylics by Golden.   I am happy to say that I liked this surface even more for watercolor paints.     Any time a new surface is used, there is a learning curve, of course, so keep that in mind.

I’m finding Aquabord to be every bit as “fiddle-able” as 300 lb. watercolor paper, in my experience.   I only had a few minutes before dinner time to create this painting, and I was able to fiddle with it as it dried with hardly any kicks or stomps flung by the medium toward my dancing toes.   I will test this theory tomorrow, but I think I could have rinsed this off and painted again on an almost white surface.   (Oh, and I am dying to rinse half that sky and go again hehe.)   Not sure how letting this dry overnight will affect the rinsing process.   We shall see!

One nit:   This is now the second panel I’ve used from the same 4-pack, and with both, I had a slight flaking of the top surface coating at the edges of the board.   Not on all four sides, but enough on one side that I wouldn’t want to, for example, put this in a shop for sale.   I’m hoping that this is a defective pack, vs. an issue with the surface as a whole.   I noticed it with my acrylic painting too, but I had rinsed that so many times that I thought that might be the issue.    I didn’t rinse this one at all.

I’m going to give Blick a call in the morning and I bet they will immediately FedEx another 4-pack out to me.   UPDATE:  I called Blick, spoke with one of the artists/product specialists, and was assured that the surface should not flake.   They are sending another pack of Aquabord right out in the morning, and I should have by the end of the week.    Have I mentioned I love Dick Blick?   Their service is always stellar and they stand behind what they sell.  I’d be curious to know your experience with Aquabord too!

I wish you a happy and productive week, and may the sun show her face to you wherever you go!   Peace.

66 thoughts on “Abstract Watercolor Landscape on Aquabord: May Madness Day 16

      1. I never rinse, use little water, avoid white and use glossing or mattifying medium on the finished painting. I was surprised at how long they’ve lasted with what I caked on them.

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          1. I did my first acrylic “exercise” last week…painting a value scale and then a simple cube to practice shading. It’s so different to paint on canvas than on paper, but fun nevertheless. I might have to grab it an post it one of these days. It marks another “first” for me.

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                  1. It was really helpful, not only for getting the feel for painting on canvas rather than paper, but for mixing the different tints and shades and just playing with the consistency of the paints. Since I’ll be using acrylics to paint the clouds for the headliner of my husband’s old van, I figured I’d better get started learning LOL.

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  1. Hi Laura, your painting has me feeling like I’m in a hot air balloon floating through the clouds over the mountain tops. This is a stunning painting. I don’t have any experience with the product you are using. I’m sure DB will replace your boards.

    Your painting through May is producing awesome results, keep flinging the paint, you are on a roll!!

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  2. Hi Laura, I’m reading along, just can’t seem to get out of the grind but I love this piece. I guess as I look across the spectrum of paintings and art I see it’s usually a color that draws me in. These colors are just beautiful in the way that you have used them.

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        1. Jade, I called Blick, and apparently this was a bad batch. They are sending me out a new pack and I should have by the end of the week. The artist I spoke with has never had this problem with it. Also, I think Sabiscuit commented earlier that she loves the surface. Hopefully this won’t resurface (lol) again.

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  3. You go girl! I love the billowy, buoyant feel of this piece Laura. It’s exciting to see what you’ll come up with next, you are making some gorgeous art. For Painting Everyday in May, you are rocking it!

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    1. Deb, thank you most kindly for your comment! I have been thinking about you and hoping you’re feeling better. Thanks so much for your encouragement – I’m now wondering if I should be returning the 5×5″ and 6×6″ pieces of Aquabord….may just keep them! hehe!

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  4. Laura! beautiful painting and very, very dreamy….first time using this for a watercolor and it turns out this well, I don’t think that this will be your last time using this surface. Hopefully the flaking is a one-time deal, darn. I have never used aquabord, I just might give it a whirl. 🙂

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    1. You should try it, Margaret, and thanks! I called Blick and spoke with an artist who has used these and never had that problem. So Blick is expressing me out a new pack and advised I should have in a few days. Very excited to try this surface again tonight and see what mood the wee mistress is in tonight lol. Really glad you liked this; I’m feeling better about this painting and the surface. (You have no idea how I’ve been wanting to run and rinse it hehe)

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  5. I love how with the paler range of tones and the softer merging edges, you created …. a feeling. An atmosphere for the viewer. A dreamscape of being more peaceful and relaxed. Yet, not falling asleep.
    It is a lovely Mood painting Laura. but then, you’ve gotten quite adept at achieving that!
    Thank you for sharing with us, that when a product is defective – To call the company!! very important 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Debi! Glad you are feeling the dreamscape on an early Tuesday morning. I do think people don’t return things enough. I don’t hesitate. I appreciate good art supplies, but they don’t come cheaply. I’m glad you enjoyed this – stay tuned for watercolor round two tomorrow! You and Margaret are inspiring me! ❤


  6. I thought you’d like watercolor on this base! I love the ability to lift off color almost back to the white again too. Your painting is really beautiful – love your colors, Laura!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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