A good foundation is key to any art project, but when working with mixed media, it’s especially important to have a good base. While canvas is perfect for painting, and paper is prime for pencil, board is ideal for mixed-media compositions: it holds up to both wet and dry materials and won’t crumple, pill, or dissolve. The mixed-media genre began with cubists Picasso and Braque, who started making painted collages around 1912, working with everything from newspaper clippings to wicker. The practice spread as artists increasingly wove unconventional materials into their work, and some, like Matisse, Cornell, Dubuffet, and Kelly, adopted the genre. Today, many established artists work with found items. Try mixed media: pick up a sturdy board, using our selection of the best options below.
1. Strathmore Mixed-Media Board
Strathmore is a well-known artist’s brand that produces high-quality archival materials at a reasonable price, and this product is no exception. Featuring six boards per pack, this pack will take you through more than one project. Acid- and lignin-free, the paper won’t eat away at adhesives or gessoes and will keep your pigments fade-proof over time. Composed of cotton fibers, the material is sturdier than a wood pulp board, and each sheet measures eight by ten inches.
2. Canson Plein Air Mix-Media Art Board Pad
Another trusted artist’s brand, Canson is a go-to for reliable supplies. This pad features boards with a solid core construction, with sheets glued on one side for a sturdy painting, drawing, or collaging surface. Measuring nine by 12 inches, these boards are acid-free and archival quality. Each pad comes with ten top-glued sheets, so it’s easy to keep the pack all together.
3. Sizzix Surfacez Mixed-Media Board
Available at a good price, this product comes with ten boards measuring six by 13 inches each. Precut to be perfectly compatible with die cutters, these sheets serve as the perfect multipurpose material for book binding, matting, journaling, and using for both wet and dry media. Including five gray sheets and five white sheets, each pack gives you two colors.
4. Ranger Dina Wakley Media Board Mixed Pack
If you’re in the market for a variety pack, look no further than this option. Including six boards per pack, this product comes with two boards measuring three by three inches, six by four inches, and seven by five inches respectively, so you can make mixed-media works of any scale. Ideal to use with paints, gessoes, stencils, and texture paste, this board can hold its own against virtually any medium.
5. Multimedia Artboard 5-Pack
Lightweight but durable, this board is the largest option on our roundup. Measuring 11 by 14 inches, each sheet is compatible with everything from paint to collage medium to pencil. With five boards per pack, you can create a slew of cubist-inspired collages or found-material compositions.