Plein air painters have many different surfaces to choose from on which to create their art.
There is duck canvas, linen, canvas panels, linen panels, birch board and many other choices for the outdoor artist. I’ve tried many of these and have come to my own conclusion and method that works best for my process. That’s why I like to use gessoed and oil primed hardboard panels for painting plein air. Some of the benefits of using panels instead of canvas is, they’re portable–you can carry many in a panel holder when travelling–they won’t tear or dent, and they never have the issue of sunlight coming through the back like you can get when you use canvas outdoors.
I made a video that shows how I prepare inexpensive hardboard panels with gesso and oil primer. They make a great surface to paint on. You might want to try using the methods I’m goint to share to see if you like painting on them as much as I do. Here’s the video if you’re interested: