The Best Drawing Board Ever!!
Watch the best drawing board ever tutorial.
Today we’re going to talk about what I think is the best drawing board ever.
It’s light, easy to make and can be used for any situation.
Best of all, it’s cheap. Let’s get into it!
Order the supplies you need to build your own.
The only 1/2 inch board that you can buy individually on Blick is the black one. It’s just as good as the white one. The white foam core is cheaper per piece but you have to buy 10 of them. If you want to avoid the shipping or get a single white board I would suggest your local art store.
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Art supply collection
All artists collect art supplies, I’m no exception. I got boxes in my close plus a whole other shelf of supplies.
Why do we collect art supplies?
Because part of creativity is experimentation. Because we are trying to find what works for us. Either we want to know the difference between mediums, or maybe a teacher required us to purchase it. Or we see another amazing artist use it and think it has magical powers that will instantly make us better.
Most of all I think we collect to hopefully find something that matches our lifestyle, how our brain works and how we work. We are trying to find materials that are successful.
But what makes an art supply successful?
In my opinion. When an art supply is successful, it disappears.
Not literally of course.
Its influence on your process disappears. It becomes part of the background and takes up 0% of your attention. When they don’t work well, they can take up a lot more of our attention.
This is the true purpose of art supplies.
To support your creativity and not get in the way. Its purpose is to facilitate practice and production and do it without influence.
This is why it’s so important to find the supplies that work really well FOR YOU.
But the problem is that most art supplies we purchase don’t work for us.
A great example is this cheap Masonite drawing board. It’s about the same price as the one we are going to make.
- Too heavy
- Clips don’t move
- Handle hole is in the way
- Only two clips
- Can’t customize to fit my paper size
It’s a great board if you want to buy something without any thought but there is a very high percentage that it will end up in the pile of failed art supplies we all have.
Like I said before, it may take up a percentage of your creative attention.
My point is that if you want an art supply to last for the length of our artistic journey we need to make it yourselves. When we make it ourselves it has a tremendous chance of being successful.
And this drawing board has been the only art supply that I’ve created that has stood the test of time and continues to come along with me on my own artistic journey. I think it’s the best drawing board ever and I’m going to give you 6 reasons why I think so.
6 reasons why this drawing board is the best
#1, it's rigid
This drawing board is as rigid as wood. I can press down on it really hard and it doesn’t bend or bow.
#2, it lasts
It lasts a long time. My first foam core drawing board lasted about 7 years before I retired it, and that was only because I wanted it to be a bit larger.
#3, it's super light.
The best thing I love about this is that it’s super light. This is the same drawing board that Anthony Rhyder uses and he calls it a “Stiff cloud”
Literally it only weighs 24 ounces with the clips and paper!
#4, it's super versatile.
You can use it almost anywhere.
- On a drawing horse.
- In a chair propped up against a desk in front of your computer.
- Using two chairs in a studio.
- Using a chair and an easel in a studio.
- On my really nice Italian metal easel that can’t take much weight.
- It can be used with dry or wet materials or even digital.
#5 It's cheap!
Cheap to create and cheap to replace.
The foam core will cost you $20 and the clips, if you get them individually, will be around $1 each.
If the first one you create is not working, it only takes a few minutes to cut a new one.
#6 It fits me
This foam core drawing board takes up 0% of my attention when I’m drawing.
It does its job and it does it really well, consistently.
It’s basically invisible to my process.
And I’m certain it can be invisible to yours.
Supplies you will need
First we need to determine what size of drawing board we will need.
If the size of paper you want to use it with is 18×24, I would suggest that you make your drawing board 19×25.
This will give a half inch of room all around the paper.
This really helps with keeping the edges of the paper fully on the board and the clips a bit further from the drawing area.
You won’t find foam core the size you need. You will need to purchase one that is a bit larger.
The foam core that is left over comes in handy for modifications later.
It’s absolutely essential though, that you get a foam core board that is ½ inch in thickness. Don’t get anything thinner.
Next thing you will need is clips.
I like to grab two different types of clips and the largest size of each one.
This is a bulldog clip and you need three of them that are three inches in size.
This is a binder clip, get the largest size here as well, at 2 inches, in width. You will only need two of these and they aren’t completely necessary, unless you want to do the digital modification I will show you later.
For cutting the half inch foam core you will need a sharp knife and a ruler.
I’m using a metal ruler and an exacto knife.
1/2 inch foam core board any color
3 bull dog clips
2 binder clips (optional)
Making the drawing board
First let’s cut the board to size.
I use the ruler and a pencil to make some quick marks of the size I want.
Then I’ll use the ruler to guide my knife so my cut is very straight.
Take your time here, it’s easy to cut yourself.
We don’t want any bleeding or jagged edges on your board.
After your board is cut all you need to do is grab about 20 sheets of paper and clip them to the board.
Clip pro tip
Here is a pro tip on using the bulldog clips, and why you need three of them.
When a board is on an easel or upright and you want to change pages.
It becomes rather difficult to remove one clip without all of the pages falling to the floor.
But if you have three clips, you can remove one clip at a time and work the sheet off the board, while the other two clips hold the rest of your paper.
The binder clips are used at the bottom of the board to keep the paper from flapping about while you transport the board. But the bulldog clips can be used here as well.
If you are a digital artist working on a small tablet here is a great use for the binder clips as well.
First cut a 3 in wide piece of foam core and clip it across the drawing board on top of the paper.
Place your tablet on it.
You went from traditional to digital in seconds!
Bag your board
One last item that is extremely helpful if you live in a place like Seattle where it rains a lot.
Get a large bag to cover your board.
This way you can leave all of your drawings on the board and transport it without anything getting wet.
If you get your board wet it will bow slightly.
There you go!
The best drawing board ever!
It’s super versatile, it’s light, it’s durable and it’s cheap.
And most important, it does its job and allows you to focus on what matters most, creating.
I hope you liked this post and video!