Choosing the right supports is essential when creating artwork. No, I’m not referring to your family or friends. :) In art, “support” refers to the surface on which you are working, such as paper or canvas. The surface you choose is not limited to these traditional items, however. Pastel artist Lesley Harrison, in her book Painting Animals that Touch the Heart, discusses her preference for using velour paper for her work. Other pastel artists use sandpaper for their paintings. Artists working in oils or acrylics might choose masonite (a pressed hardboard used in flooring) or wood. Other artists paint on rocks. I found another artist who uses drafting film for her colored pencil drawings.

How do you know which will work best for you? Try them out! Experiment with different types of surfaces and see which ones help you create the effect you are looking for. Some will work better than others, but as you try them out you’ll find yourself practicing, improving, and growing as an artist, developing your own individual style and techniques.