If you’ve read my articles before or seen any of my work, you’ll have noticed that I work pretty much exclusively on round wood panels. This is a really unusual surface to work on, and not a lot of vendors offer round canvases or wood panels.
Personally, I don’t like sharp corners and I don’t like boxing myself in, both literally and figuratively. There’s something very appealing to me about a round surface, and because my work is usually based in an abstract conceptualization of an extrasolar planet (a planet outside of our solar system) a more traditional shape or substrate quite literally wouldn’t work for me.
A round panel also has the added benefit of being really visually interesting. It’s a sharp contrast when surrounded by square and rectangular work on a gallery wall, and eye-catching when just hanging up by itself.
Figuring out where to purchase these panels is the most difficult part of working on a round panel. They can be difficult to find and expensive when you do, but over the past year I’ve accumulated a list of a couple professional, reliable services that provide quality round panels.
woodcrafter.com sells a lot of custom wood parts and shapes, and their wood circles are among the most affordable of all the options I’ve found.
But with that affordability comes a lack of quality, while the wood has never bended or warped in any way like some cheap wood panels have been known to do, most professional panel supplies include keyholes or cradled backs on their panels, which woodcrafter doesn’t do. Because of that, you have to attach the hardware yourself, an added step and cost that might not be worth the savings.
art-boards.com has a great size selection and excellent quality, but the price of their larger panels is higher compared to some other suppliers. But from what I can see, professional working artists trust this brand a lot and praise the quality of their panels.
Crone’s Custom Woodworking has several options of round panels as well as round picture frames, and is a small business dedicated to providing excellent quality products. Their smaller panels are more expensive than Art-boards but offer more affordable options for larger panels.
trekkel.com is the main retailer of artist grade round panels, and while it may seem like their products are the most affordable on this list, the cost of shipping often eliminates any savings you might get. But for some artists looking to buy traditional sized panels, paints, and brushes, Trekkel might be a convenient one-stop-shop for artists.
If you’ve been feeling boxed in working with traditional sized surfaces, or want to try something new and create more professional-looking work, then I’d seriously suggest trying out round panels! You’ve got little to lose, and if you’re anything like me, an entire universe of possibilities to gain.