I've been moving more into doing mixed media work lately, and have run into a small dilemma with my work surface -
I want something that I can use with paints (acrylic, maybe watercolor?, puff paint), inks, art markers (I have a big set coming to me finally, and I am really jazzed about using them!), gelpens (I am in love with gelpens and have two sets of dimensional ones that are absolutely lovely), maybe colored pencil, and other media like embossing powders, stamping, tape/glue, and so on.
1. Plain paper is not ideal as the wetter mediums make it buckle.
2. Even watercolor paper gets a bit bendier than I like, and more absorbent papers (watercolor, bristol board) will suck up my markers too much.
3. I thought about using thin wooden boards, but I would need to cover them somehow to get a clean background, and it seems that gesso and acrylic paints don't play well with markers, and I am dubious about the ability to use some other media over that as well. I also want a smooth surface to start with, so that I can create my own texture instead of messing with what is already there. Is there anything I could coat a board with to create a nice surface for artwork?
4. I also thought about using foam board, but I wouldn't be able to sketch on it first and I am not sure how it would work with markers and paints (but it's probably worth a go just to see what it will do anyway)
5. Chipboard was my next thought, but according to other folks it sucks up ink a lot and I worry it might buckle and bend as well.
So I am here!
Can you recommend any surfaces that would work well for this sort of thing?
Is there a type or paper that could serve me well?
I really am open to whatever suggestions you might have! Just as long as it won't react very badly to the materials I want to be using, and ideally will be fairly rigid and won't warp if I use paints and inks on it. Something CHEAP is even better, I am finally really a starving artist (it had to happen sometime, I guess!) so I welcome any suggestions that are friendly to the nearly empty wallet
I feel like Bristol board might be my best bet, but all the bad stuff I have heard about using it with markers has me worried!
Thanks so much for your insight!