Drawing boards provide a huge advantage for students who wish to work realistically. They reduce visual distortions when drawing and provide quality work surfaces when rendering.


The most important argument for using drawing boards in the classroom is to reduce visual distortion.

Drawing on flat table surfaces skews the perspective of a drawing. When working on a flat table, the top of the paper seems smaller because it is farther away from the student, and the bottom of the drawing appears bigger because it is closer to the student.

Students are often tricked by this visual effect and will make the drawing bigger than is accurate at the top, and smaller than is accurate on the bottom.

Drawing boards eliminate this visual trick by allowing students to work on drawings in a more vertical position. Whether propped on student laps or on easels, the verticality of the drawing surface makes a huge difference for drawing accurately.

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Another important reason to teach with drawing boards is to eliminate potential pitfalls for students when drawing. If students work on pockmarked or otherwise uneven surfaces, it is challenging for them to draw well as the drawing surface itself becomes a distraction. As learning to draw is already a very challenging skill, any added difficulties (like uneven drawing surfaces) create unnecessary frustration that can derail your students.

Providing students with drawing boards ensures that they are working on a good surface and eliminates unnecessary challenges that imperfect surfaces may throw in your students’ way.


Drawing boards also provide an ideal work surface for achieving nuanced effects when shading drawings. In order to get especially beautiful effects in their shading, students need to be able to control the pencil pressure on their work surface in a refined way.

Foam core drawing boards naturally have some give to it which helps prevent students from scarring their paper with a heavy hand. Masonite drawing boards can achieve a similar level of cushion by prepped them with a piece of folded newsprint taped underneath the drawing paper.

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Are drawing boards worth it?

When teaching challenging technical drawing skills, providing the most opportunities for student success (good drawing surface) and eliminating potential obstacles (distortion) is an important part of guiding students. Drawing boards achieve both of these desired outcomes and are strongly recommended for classroom use.

Not sure what kind of drawing boards to get for your art classroom? Check out our drawing board reviews.

Have you used drawing boards in your classroom? What was your experience like? Let me know in the comments below.

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