There’s nothing more exciting for an artist than a blank canvas apart from, perhaps, a variety of types of blank canvases. Websites such as art and craft supplier George Weil have a fine array of paper, card, board, and canvases for different art mediums such as oils, watercolours, dyes, and collages. It can be a daunting as well as the exciting task to figure out which type of canvas you want to use for your chosen medium. To help you figure out which product is best for you here is a guide to a selection of canvases, papers, and boards.
Foam board is a fantastically versatile material that can be used for all sorts of projects. This polystyrene board comes in a variety of thicknesses and can be easily cut using a craft knife. It’s also very light and non-toxic. Foam board can be used for picture frames, relief pictures and a lot more.
An alternative to stretched canvas, canvas boards can be preferable as it gives a more consistent area to paint onto with materials such as oil paints. This is also ideal for alkyd and acrylic colours.
Also known by its brand name Tissutex, abaca tissue is a strong material when wet which can be glued or dyed without disintegrating. Abaca tissue is very versatile in that it can be tie-dyed, marbled or scrunched into interesting textures for collage use. It comes in a variety of weights depending on what project you want the paper for.
Like canvas board in contrast to stretched canvas or watercolour paper, watercolour board work well because they are not susceptible to warping. It has the advantage of being rigid enough to be ready to frame as soon as your painting has dried.
Coloured cellophane has a variety of uses from adding decoration to gift boxes and flower arrangements to fun kiddie projects such as colourful glasses and stained glass windows. Coloured cellophane is a material that often comes in handy when you are stuck for ideas.
Handmade in India using a screen made from hollow grass stems called chhapri, this unusual material was originally used by Rajasthan miniature painters. Its special texture lends itself well to thicker paints like oils and acrylics.
This recycled material, also known as rag paper as it is often made from old clothing as well as cotton fibres, is strong and durable and used to make banknotes. With its high absorbency, it works well with a variety of dying and colour materials.
Another unusual product, skeleton leaves are a great natural way to embellish your work. Undyed skeleton leaves can be coloured with dyes, by painting and can be shaped when soak in an adhesive.