I’m not too picky about the panels. They’re relatively inexpensive, readily available and utilitarian. But I make sure they have some interesting patterns in the grain to add depth, texture and feel to the composition.
Laying down a matte acrylic varnish is clutch – this will help prevent the wet media (inks and water colors) from bleeding, which allows me to get sharp edges and control the media a bit more purposefully.
Finally, sanding the edges – no one likes splinters. Then they get stacked in some sort of fashion in my studio awaiting the first pencil marks.
Being prepared has always been important to me as an artist. There is nothing worse then realizing you don’t have the right media, the time, the idea or in this case the surface/object on which to create your vision.
Time to get after it.