Using Alternative Art Surfaces Part 1
Alternative art surfaces can be both fun to use and possibly cheaper than the stable fare of canvas board and stretched canvas.
Medium Density Fibreb-oard is easily purchased in various sizes from Mitre 10, Bunnings, Home Hardware etc. The 19mm thick one is fairly stiff and not likely to warp. Thinner sheets are cheaper but those will need bracing across the back with timber straps.
Prepare the surface for your paint by applying two coats of Gesso. After this is dry you will be able to paint with acrylics or oils. You could also do an under-painting in acrylics and then use oils to finish the work.
Plywood as a substrate needs the same treatment with Gesso and paint can also be applied in the same way.
Plywood will give a much rougher texture to your work with the grain of the wood showing through. This surface is also reversible in that you will often find that the texture of the other side is different.
OK, you probably don't want to use broken glass. However you can buy glass with patterns already existing on the surface which might lead to different inspirations coming to mind. You might get some cheap small offcuts from your local glaziers.
Plain flat glass is useful too. Drip paints or inks onto the glass and transfer print onto paper for some unique abstracts that are difficult to control.
The Australian paperbark tree is a source that is abundant as it sheds it's bark each year. Some very interesting artwork could be created using the paperbark.
Cardboard can be split to give a corrugated surface to work on. Difficult to use because of the "valleys", but certainly different.
MDF and cardboard are not suited to environments where there is a lot of dampness continually around.
Acrylics are better suited to glass than oils.
In the second part of this post I will suggest alternative options for pallettes and mixing tray's.