“A great artist can paint a great picture on a small canvas.”
Charles Dudley Warner
Your choice of what to paint on can alter the working properties of the paint and give you a different painting experience but it needn’t be a mystery, if you follow a few simple rules.
1. Acrylics straight from the tube are the most flexible medium, so can be painted on anything – paper, canvas, cardboard, metal…literally anything.
2. Oils are more tricky, so have to be painted onto a properly prepared surface (see: The Trouble with Oil) I recommend a prepared canvas or prepared board.
3. Watercolours work best on paper, I recommend Cold Pressed paper (confusingly also referred to as NOT paper meaning ‘Not’ Hot Pressed). It’s ideal for less experienced painters as it’s more forgiving. (There is a huge range of Watercolour papers see: How to choose Watercolour Paper).