Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Review of MultiMedia ArtBoard With Colored Pencils

Here is the latest ATC I have done. It's on a new support for me: black MultiMedia ArtBoard.

According to the MultiMedia ArtBoard website, the ArtBoard is an innovative combination of paper and epoxy resin provides an exceptionally durable product that has few limitations. I find that it is very rough on the surface, rougher than it appears to the eye. You don't realize just how rough it can be until you put a pencil to it. Here is what pencil marks look like on it. The marks on the far left are burnishing on the board with sky blue light. The marks to the left are single pencils strokes. You can see how you really cannot get detail on this surface due too its roughness. The final marks on the bottom are cross hatching. As you can probably see, this support is a real pencil eater!

I was expecting a solid board like a heavyweight illustration board or Pastelbord. Surprisingly, it appears to be very thin and fragile, and yet it is somewhat strong. I tested its strength on a small piece. I tried bending it to see just how much it would take and what the resulting effect would be. It gave quite a bit before breaking. Well, it did not exactly break. It was more of a snap which usually left behind messy edges. When it snaps, a whole piece of is broken right off, completely. The ArtBoard can also be torn, surprisingly easy, and that does lave a mess behind! In the photo below you can see the results of my experiment. On the left is the result of when I snapped the board in half. The piece on the right is what happened when I tore the ArtBoard. You can see that is a mess! You can also get a glimpse of the texture of the ArtBoard.

It was very difficult for me to get any detail on this support or to even attempt to fill the tooth. I don't think I will be using this support with pencils anymore as it simply is not appropriate for this surface. I will be experimenting with pastels though, as I think it will work much better than pencils. In the photo below is a close-up of the puppy ATC. You can see the trouble I had trying to get the type of detail I like to have in my artwork.

I'm a bit disappointed. I was hoping for another support I could use in the heat and humidity of the summer here in Eastern NC. Worse yet, I could only find MultiMedia ArtBoard in packages of five, so I purchased a 5-piece package of 11" x 14" of black and a 5-piece package of 18" x 24" tan colored MultiMedia Artboard. The ArtBoard also comes in white. Guess it's back to the Pastelbord for the summers, except for pastel work. I'm now wondering how well pastels will adhere to this surface. That will have to be my next experiment.

If you interested in purchasing the MultiMedia ArtBoard, it is available from the websites listed below. Not all of the websites have all of the colors or the sizes. You will simply have to explore each site to find one that meets your needs. I can say, however, that Daniel Smith was the only website that had the ArtBoard in tan.

Dick Blick
Jerry's Artarama
Cheap Joe's
Daniel Smith


  1. Thanks for this Nancy. Too bad its so disappointing as a surface for pencils. I'll be avoiding it, thanks to you. :~)

    I do think your piece turned out well, even if it wasn't what you were going for.

  2. Thank you Paula. I appreciate your kind words. I'm sure the results will be very different for pastels. I'll have to try it soon.


  3. Hi Nancy, I really like what you did here!! What a cutie. :-) Any frustrations you had with the surface are not evident in the piece. Yes, it does look like it would suit pastels. I look forward to seeing your pastel work.