Ampersand Gessobord is a premium rigid oil painting support. It is a wonderful support that I regularly use. In this article I'd like to describe its qualities and explore its uses.
Gessoboard comes in a cradled and uncradled version. The cradled version has some wooden strips at the back, turning the panel into a much thicker panel. The cradling will help avoid any warping (especially in large pieces) and make the piece suitable for hanging without a frame. You paint the sides if you like. The cradles come in varying widths; 22mm and 38mm.
As I like to frame my paintings, I have only ever used the uncradled panels. And I really like them. The un-cradled panels are 3mm thick.
Ampersand Gessobords are made of high density aspen hardwood. They have a layer of Ampersand special acrylic coating on top. It has a very slight texture to it, but overall the boards should be considered very smooth.
Ampersand claims the boards are durable and and made from renewable wood. It is acid-free and non-yellowing. The wood panels are protected with a seal. You can read more about this on their website.
So if we don't have to worry about durability, then for me, they are a credible option for painting on.
In my own experience the panels are wonderful.
The Good Bits
The Bad Bit
I would recommend using Ampersand Gessobord if you can afford it. I use it for commissions and 'serious' paintings, but often prefer cheaper alternatives as well. For me they are too expensive to use for all my work, but that is of course a very personal choice.
All in all it is a beautiful, archival, professional and easy to use paint surface for anyone who likes a rigid and smooth support.
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