View Full Version : Pastel padded backing board?

06-13-2012, 08:04 PM

Does anyone have suggestions on what type of padded backing would be good for a plywood drawing board? It is in order to achieve the smooth strokes without skips that A. Flattmann talks about. Some friends recommended his book and it is full of useful info. He mentions closed cell foam which is pricey. He recommends extra sheets of paper also but I don't see how I would be able to tape those to the board without them falling loose or something. Maybe that works better for people who use clips. What does everyone else do?

06-13-2012, 11:13 PM
I mount my paper to foam core which I think is a good compromise. Gives just a little but is also rigid enough to not need any other support. In fact if you are working small enough the foam core could work as your drawing board.


06-13-2012, 11:32 PM
I have gatorfoam, which is as hard as plywood (but very brittle). Is this what you mean? If so, I don't see where it offers any cushion, but thanks for the response. Or do you mean something softer than the laminate covered stuff?

06-13-2012, 11:55 PM
Foam board is not the same as gator board and has a cushiony foam center and a softer paper covering than gator board. It's handy to have for many purposes including clipping your pastel paper on. You can lay your foam board (with pastel paper attached) on a drawing table or place it on an easel. I have a number of pieces cut to various sizes of paper so that I can clip my paper to the board easily. If you are looking for an even softer surface, you could tape a few sheets of newsprint to the foam board or to your drawing board.


06-13-2012, 11:58 PM
You can always tape a few sheets (8 to 12) of newsprint from a pad of newsprint to the board and then either clip or tape your pastel paper over this. I know of a few major artists that work this way.


06-14-2012, 10:49 AM
I use foamcore as a drawing board. It's lightweight, and if you get a thick piece it gives a nice cushion. If I'm using sanded papers I don't find a cushion necessary, but if I'm using Canson paper I do like a cushion, so I just place a stack of the paper on the board and clip it in four places around the board. I have the board cut to the same size as a full sheet of Canson. I would think plywood would be heavy, I find the foamcore easy to use.

CM Neidhofer
06-14-2012, 12:57 PM
I just use foam core board also. I get it at Walmart...cheaper than most art stores. I cut them into whatever size paper I'm using and just clip my support to the foarm board, or use artist's tape to tape it to the board.

06-14-2012, 01:07 PM
I like cushion under my paper, especially canson. I do use several sheets of newsprint taped to the board. It can present a problem when you remove the tape thats holding your painting surface to the newsprint. If your careful and depending on the tape used; you can get quite a few uses out of the top sheet of newsprint. I didn't want that problem traveling. I could just use foamcore but I was afraid of dents while traveling so I taped newsprint followed by a sheet of acetate over either foamcore or other lightweight board. With the acetate on top tape can easily be removed while still having the cushion of newsprint.