I started off painting on small canvas squares and art panels for a year or two. I then moved on to boards. I love using the boards particularly for some of my abstract work. You can scratch into the panels without fear of damaging a canvas. You can throw ink at it, spray water over it, sand it back and be rough on it. Boards are great but they have their limitations too, such as framing and weight.
I move between boards, paper and canvas. When I am starting a piece, I think about the end result and that will determine the substrate. Each has their own unique benefits. I love working on paper, it is easy to use, affordable, easy to frame and easy to store. You can't be as heavy handed on paper, but it does have many benefits. The artwork pictured; Hidden Gem I used mixed media paper.
I enjoy working on canvas and tend to find I use a canvas once I have completed a few paper pieces in the same colours or style. I feel freer to go about the piece having already played with the mediums, colours and mark making.
When planning your next artwork, think about what mediums you will be using, do you need to sand back, scratch in, will you use lots of water or ink? These questions will help you determine the paper type, canvas or boards.
Lee Cummins is a mixed media artist, workshop and art class facilitator.