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Some General Tips on Using Graphic Media

Many illustrators and graphic artists prefer Claybord over paper because of its smooth forgiving surface. Use with Rapidograph and technical pens, calligraphy pens, and markers without fear of mistakes. Claybord's smooth surface can be erased and sanded to its original surface if you need to correct or change an area. This will save you valuable time and money on all your design projects.

Claybord & Rapidograph or Technical Pens

Claybord is an ideal surface for fine pen drawings using technical pens. The smooth absorbent surface will faithfully reproduce the desired line width without any feathering or bleeding. Inks are quickly absorbed and dry almost immediately. This reduces smudging, allowing you to work rapidly over the entire surface. If smudging does occur or if you wish to rework an area of the composition, a fine steel wool or an electric eraser and eraser shield can be used to remove the ink. You can also replace the eraser stick in your electric eraser with a tight wad of fine steel wool. This works great!

Begin by preparing the surface of Claybord. The clay surface makes an excellent ground for most inks but does create some dust which may clog very fine technical pens. Clean your pen point frequently when using Claybord.

The following tips can be used to reduce the incidence of clogging:

  • Begin by dusting off the board with a fine brush to remove any existing surface dust.
  • Take a damp rag and wipe down the surface. Allow the board to dry completely before working on it.
  • Some smaller nibs have a sharp pen point. This point cuts into the Claybord surface and can create the clogging dust. Use a fine (600 grit) sandpaper to round off the edges of the pen point.

Using Claybord for Calligraphy

You can use with both dip and pre-filled calligraphy pens. Claybord's absorbent surface reduces feathering and smudging resulting in crisp clean lines and enhanced control. Scratchboard tools can be used to cut in detail and enhance or clean up letters. Steel wool or other abrasives can be used to remove inks and rework areas. Because inks lie on top of the Claybord surface, they can be easily removed with an eraser or abrasive. If you pre-sketch your letters before inking, use a hard lead pencil and leave faint lines. For a mixed media approach, add color and detail to your calligraphy using other types of paint knowing that Claybord will accept any media. When finished, seal your work with spray fixative like Krylon® UV Resistant Clear Coating #1309 (Matte) or #1305 (Gloss) so it can be framed without glass.

Tips on Using Claybord & Markers

Claybord can be used with all types of markers. Its smooth, absorbent surface makes for excellent line control without smudging or feathering. Sand paper or oil free steel wool can be used to vary the tonal values or to erase unwanted lines. Knives can also be used to create white highlights.

Markers are produced by a wide variety of manufacturers for many different purposes. Choose a style of pen that will accomplish the effects you need. Most markers work well and can easily be removed from the Claybord surface. Please be aware that the pigments in some markers can penetrate the Claybord surface making complete erasure difficult. Test any marker, for erasability, on a small piece of Claybord before using.