View Full Version : What do you use for a drawing surface?
08-26-2003, 09:44 PM
Excuse the newbie type questions from me, but I have never had formal training in art (except a couple classes in college a long time ago), and I'm curious about something.
The only paper I have ever worked on is in a sketchbook, and I never take the sheets out of my books. Therefore, the surface I am working on is always relatively soft. If I want to start working on single sheets, what should I use for a drawing surface? What does everyone else use? In drafting, I have used boards with cut-proof mats on them. That's about the only surface I'm familiar with.
Anyone care to shed some light on this subject for me?
08-26-2003, 09:55 PM
It all depends on what you are drawing with. I'm sure many will have specific suggestions for different media, but my advice is to try several things. Put your loose paper on top of a newsprint pad. Try just a few sheets or less on a standard drawing board. Try taping one sheet to the wall. Some papers can be wetted and mounted on stretchers, like watercolor paper.
08-26-2003, 10:36 PM
a single sheet of drawing paper and draw in my lap. I have a drawing table, but just haven't been able to get used to drawing at the angle that requires. Basically, I would say whatever is comfortable for you.
08-26-2003, 11:02 PM
RCB, I use my drafting table and I have used my drafting mat under also. Sometimes though you might like a slightly harder surface for Bristol Board and such. If you don't you might get dents in the paper that you're really not going to want there except for special effect. (Smooth Bristol board is REALLY nice if you've never tried it. It's just a tiny bit smoother than your drafting vellums. Probably something close to mat acetate in smoothness, and makes blending much easier.)
Drafting eh? I originally trained "on the board" myself. Then, of course, went to CAD as that was already what most companies used nowadays. I really enjoyed the artistry of creating a well done drawing and really miss it when I get so bored sitting at a computer all day long. I actually use quite a few of my hand drafting tools in my art drawings. (Erasure shields, circle templates, white erasures, scales, calipers, etc.) What type of drafting have you been envolved in? Mine was mechanical, electronic & some electrical.
I look forward to seeing more of your work like your German Shepard!
08-26-2003, 11:04 PM
I tape the paper at the corners to a masonite board with drafting tape. It then goes onto an easel. Works great for charcoal and pastels, and I can use the same easel for painting. I use it for graphite too, but I would rather a drafting table. I just don't have enough space... :(
By the way, I started out using masking tape, but it's very hard to remove without damaging the paper or leaving a sticky residue. Drafting tape is low tack and comes off much easier.
I find actually taping it to a board like that helps protect the paper as I work. For example, creasing the paper while erasing. And I prefer the working surface if I put a few sheets of paper behind the main one.
Hope that helps!
08-27-2003, 05:18 AM
A Hearty thanks to all of you for your answers to my question.
Thanks for the reminder of "feel free to be me". I have a tendency to want to emulate others when I like what I see.
With a sketchpad, it's become pretty easy to just sit where ever I'm comfortable. . . . But it's time I move on past just sketching (and get rid of the pad). I have plans of doing a project for my nephews upcoming wedding, so I need to start getting used to the idea of me trying to become a beginning artist.
I actually used to teach CAD at the post high school level. I never became a draftsman. I had teacher tell me if I want to be poor, go into drafting, so I went into electronics. Funny thing is, I was unemployed for 14 months, and now I'm working as an assembly-line person. I'm hoping, that maybe I can supplement some income with artwork. Oh yeah, my drafting has never gone beyond my personal pleasure of it. I design ( and try to build) furniture for around the house. I do have a top-of-the-line Maline drafting table (counterweights and all) that I picked up for $50.
Thanks for the idea of the Masonite. I know I have some of that laying around.
Once again, thank you all for the advice.:cool:
I bought a smooth gesso board and use spring loaded paper clamps to attach my paper. I protect the paper by putting a couple of layers of paper towel under the clamp.
It is lighter in weight than a regular drawing board and is available in all different sizes. It gives me a nice smooth surface to work on.
08-27-2003, 12:57 PM
I started out in a sketch book. Then thought I just HAD to have a drafting table. It is nice to have, but what a monster, 6 foot x 4 foot oak top that weights a 60 pounds. My husband hates me when it had to be moved, but hey - I got it for $50 bucks too. Now I use a sketch board, 1/8 masonite board with a big clip, on the couch. I get more work done there. It is not more "comfortable", but I am in my "comfort zone", when I draw there. I draw best where there is noise and activity going on and my table is away in a quite room - ick.
08-27-2003, 01:03 PM
Hi RCB. I work with single sheets on my drafting table and also draw right from my book. The drawing books I get are spiral bound so the pages can flip easily or be taken out. I make sure I buy a paper that is acid free and make sure it's at least 110 lb paper.
PS: Love your member name....it describes me too :D:)
08-28-2003, 11:42 PM
Well, I'm a bit of a weirdo ;)
See, I don't have any kinda actual artistic drawing board or table or anything like that; I use the back-side of this tile sample board my mom got from a place that was going outta business. I liked it, good size and was just the right hardness for me to draw on! So that's what I use ;)
But REAL drawing boards work quite nicely too!
08-29-2003, 06:51 AM
I use the rest of my sketch pad...
But I also have a piece of Masonite( I think its called Hardboard in the States). where I use the smooth side to press on..
08-29-2003, 07:27 AM
Glass/plex board enables darkest tones. Highly recommended :cool:
08-30-2003, 11:07 PM
Gee, all these types of boards. I guess I'm just lazy and cheap. I draw directly in the tablet of Bristol Vellum. It is thick enough paper that I never have gotten dents on the paper beneath the one I'm drawing on.
I have a drawing board that I used in college--we used newsprint under our drawing, but were using lighter weight paper. I've also used some masonite but I find drawing boards rather awkward and prefer just using the tablet.
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