A while ago I reviewed Mont Marte’s canvas pads, and I just realised I still hadn’t done a review for their canvas panels. Since I’ve just finished marking assignments, now seems like a good time to rectify that 🙂
Usually when I see art supply retailers listing canvas panels and canvas boards, the boards are usually flat wooden boards with canvas glued over them, while the panels are wooden ‘frames’ with the canvas stretched over them (they’re often called ‘stretched canvas panels’ in the listings). Though the packaging calls these ‘panels’, they are actually of the board variety, so keep this in mind if you’re ordering them online and you actually want the stretched panels. I much prefer boards; I’ve used the stretched panels and I don’t like how the canvas bends and moves under my brush. The packet also refers to them as ‘Professional Series’, though aside from some small trading card sized canvas panels, I have never seen any ‘regular’ Mont Marte canvas boards, so I’m not sure what the difference would be.
Here are some packets of the boards I purchased.
As you can see, there’s a pretty big range of sizes, not limited to the ones in my photo. Like the canvas pads, these panels are available in a lot of art supply shops and even in some cheap shops (you know, the ones that sell crappy mugs and dragon figurines and no-name brands of many household items). How many you get in a packet depends on what size you are buying – the smaller boards come in packs of 3-5, while the larger ones only come 1-2 in a packet – but leaving this aside, these canvas panels are very good value for money. For example, the smaller boards are only about $2-4 a packet, and even the large panel was only $6.50 or so (I think you can get another size that’s even bigger than that one, but I didn’t have my car with me at the time and I didn’t want to have to walk home while carrying it).
Similar to the pads, these panels are also pre-primed with white acrylic, so you can take them out of the packet and just start painting if you want to. The texture is very similar to the pads, though perhaps a little less rough. On the back, each panel has a handy sticker telling you the measurements (in both imperial and metric) and giving you space to write your name, the title and date of the work and what medium was used. This is nice for those who sell or swap their work or want an easy way to keep track of their progress and how their skills are improving by looking back over their old paintings.
I usually grab at least a few packets of these canvas panels any time I come across them, as they are a good quality product at a very low price. Though this makes them ideal for beginners who may otherwise be anxious about ‘wasting’ expensive panels, artists of any level will find these canvas panels an excellent choice of painting surface to keep in their studio.