Cradled wooden boards
Please see my comment below this post…these boards have been discontinued.
I’m getting this question a lot lately, so I figure it’s time to be more specific about the “cradled wooden boards” that I use to paint with alcohol inks. I suppose the whole “wooden board” phrase seems pretty contradictory to the fact that alcohol inks can only be used on “non-porous surfaces”.
I am lazy. I don’t want to prime a board – or anything – with gesso. (Is there a spray gesso? If so, I might try it.) I like to work on substrates that require the least amount of effort to prepare for painting.
The boards I use are Artist’s Loft Primed Wooden Cradled Boards, and they’re available only at Michaels. I know that there are other brands/types of these boards, but this is the only one I’ve tried and used successfully. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, I say. The surface is smooth; the inks are not absorbed and retain most, if not all, of the properties that they have while working on other smooth surfaces like Yupo paper.
The board surface is gesso-primed MDF, and the cradled frame is pine. They are available in a variety of sizes, in 1″ and 2″ depths. Look for them in Michaels near canvas panels and masonite boards.
Michaels also sells unprimed boards, and they are a little less expensive, but not much…and, as noted above, I am lazy and really don’t mind spending a buck or two more for something that’s ready to paint on and doesn’t require any additional preparation.
I have also painted on Claybord panels but have not tried any of their cradled boards/boxes. Other brands of this type of cradled board that I’ve seen are NOT primed on the sides, so this was a turnoff for me. I paint the sides of all of my pieces that are done on these boards, so they are like a gallery-wrapped canvas and are ready to hang.
Here are some examples of paintings I’ve done on cradled wooden boards:
I finish my paintings on cradled wooden boards with Krylon UV Resistant Clear (Gloss) on both the surface and sides.