In this post, we’re going through what exactly is a drawing board, also known as a drawing table, architect’s table, and drafting table! Not only that but how it can also help you improve your artwork. Now don’t be mistaken, not only beginner artists use it! Engineer students and professionals use this as well, and the drawing boards are often used for technical drawing.
What is a drawing board? A drawing board is a type of large multipurpose desk used for sketching, inking, drawing, and technical drawing on a stable surface. Usually, these drawing boards are used at an angle with clips to hold the paper in place.
But what are the benefits of using a drawing board instead of a regular table? Well, let’s talk about them!
Should You Use A Drawing Board
If you’re wondering if you should use a drawing board, let me help you.
Ever had your paper slip out of your hand when drawing, and you make an accidental line (in ink!) that destroys your artwork? Ever ripped your paper because you were erasing some part of your drawing too strongly while holding the paper with your other hand?
You should use a drawing board.
A drawing board is a no brainer to have around the house, they are very cheap (I’ll talk more about that below) and they have many uses!
But let’s talk about some specific benefits of using a drawing board.
Benefits Of A Drawing Board / Drafting Table
A drawing board can be used in many different ways as we’ve talked about before. But it’s mostly used for technical drawing or for artists that want to keep their surface very still when working on details!
Still, there are many benefits of using a drawing board that we should mention here.
Drawing Boards Prevent Paper Damage!
For this reason, the drawing board is a guardian angel of your artwork, allowing you to freely draw on your paper (which most of the times is clipped to the drawing board) without it moving around.
This, in turn, prevents a lot of possible paper damage and tears that could happen otherwise while holding the paper with your hand.
Not only that but since about 90% of drawing boards are made of very strong surfaces, your drawing tools won’t accidentally pierce the paper you’re using. This sometimes happens when you have a very soft and squishy surface underneath your drawing.
Infinite Angles To Use
Since your drawing is clipped or attached to your drawing board, you can rotate your drawing surface at will without worrying about the space.
Want to work on a tiny table? Sure! Put your drawing board on top and get going. Want to work on the sofa? Put the drawing board on your lap and start drawing!
Not only that, but most drawing boards and tables have adjustable angles in them that you can change to your preference! With some larger drawing tables, you can even work standing up, which is very good for your posture and legs.
Larger Drawing Surfaces
As I’ve mentioned, there are quite large drawing boards/tables that allow you to stand up.
Since these tables are so large, you can allow yourself to work on bigger projects! For example, you can use A1 (594 x 841 mm) or even A0 (841 x 1189 mm) sizes in some drawing tables.
I can’t stress how important this is.
As artists we tend to work on pretty small surfaces, most of the times it’s either A4 (210 x 297 mm) or A5 (148 x 210 mm)! This means that our minds, our eyes, and even our hands, are already programmed to create compositions that work in these particular sizes.
With a drawing board, your mind is the limit of your canvas.
By changing to a larger canvas, it opens up a whole box of new possibilities of drawings and paintings you can do! Why not take the chance to draw huge forest panoramas? Or a big city from a different perspective? Maybe even a family portrait including everyone!
With a drawing board, your mind is the limit of your canvas. Well, there’s still a limit to the size of the drawing board, but you get the idea!
Improves Your Health And Pose
As I’ve mentioned, you can use one of the large drawing boards to work standing up. This is very helpful for your health and improves your pose!
As you know, most artists tend to hunch down into their drawing without moving much anything else besides your wrist and arm. This tends to mess up your muscles in the long term.
By having a big surface that you can walk around from one point in your canvas to the other, and above else, while standing up, can really improve your health!
Consistently Measures And Technical Drawing
Drawing tables and boards are often used for technical drawings by engineers and other professionals. This type of artist needs to have all their measures PERFECT when doing their drawings.
One of the great things about using a drawing board is that, as long as you’ve set your drawing properly clipped or attached to the board, all measures will be as you want them to.
On a loose piece of paper, this is much harder to do since we tend to pull the paper from one side to the other, constantly moving it.
Average Price Of A Drawing Board
Now that you know more about drawing boards, let’s talk about their price!
There are mostly two types of drawing boards that you can get: Portable and Large Desks.
I’ll talk more about portable drawing boards in a moment, but as you can guess, they are much cheaper than a whole desk serving as a drawing board.
The average price of a portable drawing board is 20$.
While the average price of a drawing table or large drawing desk is 100$.
As always this can depend on a few factors like features, the brand, and the size, so if you’re interested to know more about what you should get, see my recommended tools page to check the best Drawing Boards that I recommend!
Portable Drawing Boards
Now there are quite a few options for drawing boards that you can get.
You can get a big drawing board (also called a drafting table) where you can stand up and draw on it. This is perfect if you want to draw on a big canvas or just prefer to draw standing up.
But, there are some good things about portable drawing boards as well! These tend to be quite smaller and easier to carry around for example.
The super portable US Art Supply Artist Sketch Tote Board ( check the reviews and price on amazon)
If you just want a super simple drawing board to carry around to the class, to the park or just anywhere around the house, this is the drawing board you want.
It’s a very simple drawing board with clips on top AND a rubber band on the bottom. The board is also very sturdy and surprisingly light, so it won’t be much of a weight.
If you want something a bit more sophisticated though, there are a few other options!
Like this Vencer Large Adjustable Wood Drawing & Sketching Board (check out the reviews and price on Amazon)
As you can tell by the name, this drawing board is adjustable, allowing you to set it on the table at 4 different angles that you prefer.
I still count this as portable though, since you can easily move it from one place to the other without much trouble.
This drawing board also folds in on itself, so you can use it as an extra flat base if you want, or when you’re done with using your drawing board, you can quickly pack it away.
The seller on that page also sells a few simple wooden drawers that you can put underneath your drawing board. So do consider those if you need a few more storage space for your tools!
Drawing Board VS Drawing Table
There are a few differences between drawing boards and drawing tables. Mainly it’s the fact that one is a big desk that you can draw on, and the other is a smaller board that is portable most of the times.
So if you’re looking to work on a big project where you need a very large canvas, or if you prefer to work standing up (which is very good for your health!), get a drawing table (I recommend one below).
If instead, you’d rather work with a small canvas or you travel a lot and want to carry a drawing board with you, get a drawing board like the ones we’ve mentioned before!
Drawing Boards For Architects
Architects need a lot of space for their plans and layouts.
For this reason, consider getting a wider drawing table/board with a lot of space to use.
The Studio Designs Comet Center with Stool (check the reviews and price on Amazon)
This is a large desk that has a few great features!
Things like storage space, a neat little stool and an adjustable table going from flat to 40º are a great addition for the price of this drawing table!
It’s also very durable and sturdy, which is a must for a drawing table.
If you’re using a drawing board as an architect, you’ll also need a lot of tools like the Architectural templates by Mr. Pen pictured above.
This pack includes a LOT of templates that you can use, and at a very cheap price.
The whole set includes templates for the kitchen, furniture, appliances and much more, so check it out!
Drawing Board For Engineering
If you plan on doing some engineering projects with your drawing board, you most likely won’t need a big drawing table like the one I’ve mentioned previously.
So feel free to choose one of the options on the Portable drawing boards section, I recommend the Vencer Adjustable Wood Drawing Board since it’s just really good quality and a very sturdy drawing board at a great price.
If you’re doing engineering work, you’ll also need a set with rulers and other tools though. A set like this one from Mr. Pen (Amazon link) has basically everything you need for your engineering projects.
What is the best angle for a drafting table? The best angle for a drafting table is about 30 degrees. Most drawing tables go from flat up to 45 degrees, I recommend testing out the different angles and seeing what you prefer though!
I need to do technical drawings, will a drawing table help me? Yes! They really help by keeping your canvas very still, and in most cases are a MUST when used for engineering and architect projects.
Are there drawing tables with drawers? Yes! In fact, my top recommendation on my Recommended Drawing Tables And Boards page has several drawers. It’s very good if you need a place to store your tools.
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