An alternative to watercolor blocks, watercolor boards offer rigid surface on which to execute warp-free paintings. Useful for working en plein air, or anywhere without a convenient easel, desk, or table, watercolor boards provide their own support. Browse our roundup of the best options below.
1. Canson Plein Air Watercolor Art Board Pad
Available in sizes ranging from eight by ten inches to 12 by 16 inches, this cold-press watercolor board comes in a pad of ten sheets. Glued on one side to the pad, these boards are easy to keep organized and perform well with all wet media. The acid-free construction provides a fade-free finish, and keeps your work in archival condition.
2. Phoenix Watercolor Painting Canvas Panels
If you’re looking to try an unconventional watercolor surface, try these canvas panels. Acid-free, triply primed, and 100% cotton, these boards are specially designed for watercolor painting. The fine-grain texture makes for easy absorption and correction, and the boards are available in sizes ranging from eight by ten inches to 11 by 14 inches. With six boards per pack, there’s plenty of material to go around.
3. Ampersand Aquabord
Another paper-free option, this five-inch by seven-inch board is made out of clay-coated hardboard that has a similar feel to watercolor paper. Thanks to the smooth surface, colors can be lifted and erased while the surface is wet or dry, and pigments retain their vibrancy better than with paper. Guaranteed not to tear, shrink, or buckle, this board comes in a pack of three.
4. Crescent Creative Products Art & Illustration Watercolor Board
Available in dimensions ranging from five by seven inches to 11 by 14 inches, this three-pack of cold-press, lightly textured watercolor board is great for both dry and wet media. Made of 100% cotton rag, this paper is more durable than wood pulp–based surfaces and won’t buckle with wet media. Acid-free and heavyweight, this surface keeps your paintings in archival condition.
5. Arteza Watercolor Art Paper Foldable Canvas Pad
This acid-free paper has marked guidelines on the sides that help you fold the watercolor paper into display-ready three-dimensional boards. Made of wood pulp, this heavyweight paper can withstand multiple layers of acrylic, watercolor, and gouache. Each perforated sheet of cold-pressed paper detaches cleanly from its pad, so you can start painting right away. With 20 sheets per pad, there’s plenty of material to execute a variety of painting projects.