Top 6 Best Drawing Boards for Architects and Designers

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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In architecture and design, a good drawing board is more than just a tool; it's a partner in the creative process. Whether you're an architect who sketches the skyline or a designer who creates aesthetics with each stroke, the canvas holds the blueprint for magnificent structures and the start of revolutionary designs. Even in our digital age, many architects and designers still value the tangible connection provided by traditional drawing boards. Here are the best drawing boards for architects and designers.

The U.S. Art Supply Cancun Solid Wooden Adjustable Drawing Board is the top-rated drawing board. Whether you are handling a small-scale project or a larger canvas up to 23 inches, this board conveniently accommodates them. Also, you can easily switch between sizes thanks to the easy-to-use mechanism.

The second-best option on the list is the Falling in Art Large 5-Position Drawing Table and Sketching Board. It features thoughtful engineering and high-quality wood construction, creating an exceptional platform for drawing and sketching.

The third-best drawing board is the Juvale Extra Large Wooden Drawing Board with Clip. The board offers ample space for larger drawings and sketches. However, it doesn't offer adjustable angles for ergonomic comfort.

1. U.S. Art Supply Cancun Solid Adjustable Drawing Board, Tabletop Artist Studio Easel

U.S. Art Supply Cancun Solid Wooden Adjustable Tabletop...
  • A professional solid wooden adjustable tabletop artist studio...
  • Sturdy adjustable desktop easel that extends to accommodate a...
  • Versatile adjustable table easel with multiple functions from...
  • Easel Dimensions: 19" wide by 15" deep by 15.5" high, easel...
  • Risk Free Purchase with our 100% Lifetime Satisfaction Guarantee....

The U.S. Art Supply Cancun Drawing Board has an adjustable feature, making it a game-changer for architects and designers who work with various canvas sizes. Whether I'm handling a small-scale project or a larger canvas up to 23 inches, this board conveniently accommodates them. Besides, I can easily switch between sizes thanks to the easy-to-use mechanism, which ensures smooth adjustments.

The sturdy drawing board holds my canvas securely in place, offering a stable foundation for my projects. I can confidently work with different mediums, from bold acrylics to delicate watercolors, knowing that my canvas won't move or wobble unexpectedly.

Image Source: pinterest.com

Furthermore, this unit functions as a fantastic drawing board and display easel. I often use it to display references while I work or showcase my finished pieces. The angle adjustment feature is a thoughtful addition, allowing me to choose the ideal working angle for drawing.

Pros:

  • The unit functions as a fantastic drawing board and display easel.
  • It's ideal for creating designs on large-scale paper.
  • The drawing board is made of premium wood.
  • It features an easy-to-use mechanism, ensuring smooth adjustments.

Cons:

  • The working surface isn't entirely smooth.

2. Falling in Art: Large 5-Position Drawing Table and Sketching Board (23.2" x 16.5")

Falling in Art Large 5-Position Wood Drafting Table...
  • LARGE SURFACE AND ADJUSTABLE ANGLES: Falling in Art tabletop...
  • MULTIFUNCTIONAL DESIGN: This versatile tabletop painting board...
  • DURABLE MATERIAL FOR LONG-TERM USE: Solid European beechwood...
  • NON-SLIP FEET: Four non-slip and wear-resistant rubber feet are...
  • RISK-FREE PURCHASE PROMISE: When choosing our art board, you can...

The Falling in Art Large 5-Position Drawing and Sketching Board blends thoughtful engineering and high-quality wood construction, creating an exceptional platform for drawing and sketching. Besides, the surface has a perfect balance of smooth and textured. It offers the ideal amount of grip for using different drawing mediums. Also, the wood is durable and responsive, allowing me to express my designs effortlessly.

Image Source: homedit.com

The adjustable 5-position feature of this board is a game-changer for designers like me who work with different mediums and styles. Whether working on simple details or expressive strokes, I can easily find the perfect angle that suits my requirements. Also, the locking mechanism is strong and reliable, ensuring that my preferred position remains secure throughout.

Despite being robustly built, it is manageably lightweight and portable. Moreover, the built-in ledge at the bottom keeps my architecture drawing tools well-organized and easily accessible. These small details help to ensure a seamless and joyful drawing process.

Pros:

  • The board has a locking mechanism, ensuring a secure hold throughout.
  • It offers a balance of smooth and textured surfaces.
  • The drawing board features five adjustable positions.
  • The unit features a built-in ledge at the bottom, which keeps tools well-organized and easily accessible.

Cons:

  • It comes with a higher price tag.

3. Juvale Extra Large Drawing Board with Clip, 11x17.3 Inch

Extra Large Wooden Clipboard for Drawing, 11x17.3 Inch...
  • Wide Clipboard: This 11x17.3 lap board is great for industrial...
  • Office Supplies: The top latch of each drawing board allows for...
  • High Quality: The art clipboard is constructed of quality medium...
  • Dimensions: This horizontal large clipboard measures...
  • Comes With: You will receive 1 horizontal orientation extra large...

Juvale Extra Large Wooden is a simple drawing board that measures 11"x17.3", offering ample space for larger drawings and sketches. Whether working on detailed illustrations or trying out different techniques, I never feel limited by the size of my workspace. Besides, it's robust and durable, making it ideal for designers and architects who like working while standing.

Image Source: wonderstreet.com

The added heft usually gives me confidence that my projects won't warp or buckle under the weight of my stroke. Moreover, the board has a sturdy, reliable clip that securely holds my paper. Whether working with thicker watercolor sheets or thinner sketch paper, with the clip's grip, I never have to worry about my project sliding or moving unexpectedly.

The natural wood finish isn't only visually pleasing and adds warmth to my office. On the other hand, the combination of size, thickness, and reliability makes this an essential tool in my toolkit as a designer.

Pros:

  • It features a sturdy, reliable clip for securely holding your projects.
  • The board offers ample space for larger drawings and sketches.
  • The natural wood finish is visually pleasing and adds warmth to the workspace.
  • It is suitable for different media.

Cons:

  • The drawing board doesn't offer adjustable angles for ergonomic comfort.

4. Rotring Rapid Drawing Board, White (A3 Size)

rOtring Rapid Drawing Board A3 (213910), White
  • Robust board of unbreakable, non warping material for durability
  • Parallel straight edge with Stop and Go locking mechanism
  • Guide rails, compass plotting, rapid set square and media...
  • Two magnetic clamp strips with central push button operation and...
  • Ergonomic design for easy, comfortable working

Rotring Drawing Board A3 isn't just an architectural tool but an ally in my creative process. This drawing board is sturdy, unbreakable, and designed with a non-warping material that ensures durability. Besides, the drawing board features a Stop and Go locking mechanism, allowing you to move the board up and down conveniently and accurately and helping you create accurate lines at exact spots in your drawings and designs.

Image Source: gumtree.com

Furthermore, this drawing board features guide rails, compass plotting, and a rapid set square designed to increase accuracy. These features also allow for smooth, featherlite straight edge movement, making it a pleasure to work with. It has an end-lock A3 straightedge for added stability—a thoughtful design element that enhances its functionality.

Another feature that I find handy is the magnetic clamp strips. The strips have a central push-button operation and corner clamp, providing an easy and secure hold. This eliminates the worry of messing up my drawing when erasing—a common concern when working on important projects. The drawing board is ergonomic, making it comfortable to work with.

Pros:

  • The drawing board features a stop-and-go locking mechanism.
  • It is made of unbreakable, non-warping material.
  • The board comes with magnetic clamp strips, providing a secure hold.
  • It has an ergonomic design, making it comfortable to work with.

Cons:

  • It doesn't come with a guidebook.

5. Art Supply Extra Large Adjustable Drawing and Sketching Board (26" x 21")

US Art Supply Extra Large Adjustable Wood Artist...
  • Beautifully hand crafted from seasoned beechwood, and finished...
  • 6 Adjustable settings from flat to a 80 angle so you can find...
  • Comes with a sturdy pencil holding ledge and a drafting T-Square
  • Extra Large Working Area of 26" Wide x 21" Tall
  • Turns any tabletop into a professional drafting table environment

The US Art Supply Extra Large Adjustable Drawing and Sketching Board has 26" width and 21" height dimensions, providing an expansive space for me to draw my projects. Besides, being able to tilt the board to the ideal working angle has changed my drawing experience. It's ergonomic and incredibly simple to adjust, allowing me to work comfortably for extended periods without straining my neck or wrists.

Image Source: pinterest.com

Additionally, the wood construction is visually appealing and reassuringly solid. I can confidently work with different mediums, knowing that the drawing board will offer a stable and reliable surface. The unit also has an integrated side tray, eliminating the need for constant interruptions while I look for my tools.

The drawing board is versatile, serving as a drawing board, a sketching platform, and even a display easel for finished architecture portfolio. It is an investment that provides limitless possibilities, allowing me to explore new techniques.

Pros:

  • It is versatile, serving as a drawing board, a sketching platform, and a display easel.
  • The board is ergonomic and incredibly simple to adjust.
  • It has an integrated side tray.
  • It's ideal for creating designs on large-scale paper.

Cons:

  • It comes with a higher price tag.

6. Martin Universal Design Adjustable Parallel Straightedge Drawing Board, 23" x 31" (U-PEB2331K)

Martin Universal Design 23" x 31" Pro-Draft Deluxe...
  • The only parallel straightedge board utilizing an anti-warp...
  • Equipped with a five-position adjustable stand to create a 10 to...
  • Each side of the unit has large knobs for adjusting the...
  • High resin particle board to prevent board breakage
  • Includes comfortable easy-to-grip handle for easy transport

Martin Universal Design Drawing Board (U-PEB2331K) comes in 23" x 31" inches, handling small and large drawing pads effectively. Besides, the drawing board's surface is made from melamine resin, which offers a smooth, scratchproof platform for all my sketching and drawing needs. Thanks to its durability and portability, it's a reliable partner in my home studio or on the go.

Image Source: free-classifieds-advertising-cape-town.blaauwberg.net

The drawing board has an easy-fold stand, which is incredibly handy and provides the right angle for drawing. And with six adjustable positions that lock in place, I can always find a comfortable working posture, reducing strain during lengthy work sessions. Moreover, the board has a sturdy clip that securely holds my paper, so I can concentrate on my work without worrying about the paper moving.

Martin Universal Design Drawing Board (U-PEB2331K) features a handle designed for easy grip, making it convenient to carry the board around. Also, its well-thought-out design and practical features make it an indispensable tool for home studios and travel.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and portable drawing board
  • It features an easy-fold stand that provides the right angle for drawing.
  • The drawing board has a smooth, scratch-proof platform.
  • It has an anti-warp aluminum body straightedge.

Cons:

  • Some users might prefer more adjustable options.

Factors to Consider Before Choosing the Best Drawing Boards for Architects and Designers

Image Source: istockphoto.com

1. Size

When selecting the best drawing boards for architects and designers, size plays a pivotal role. The board's dimensions should align with the paper's dimensions you intend to use. A board that's too small may limit your work area, while an overly large one may pose challenges in terms of transportation or storage. Therefore, balance is key: choose a board that is large enough to fit your paper yet compact enough for ease of mobility and storage.

2. Material

Wooden boards offer a traditional charm, but opt for plastic or metal boards if you prioritize durability and lightness. Your choice should ultimately align with the nature of your artwork and personal preferences. Remember, the right material can enhance your creative process and influence the outcome.

3. Surface

The surface of the drawing tables can either be smooth or rough. A smooth surface is ideal for drawing on paper, while a rough one is great for sketching ideas.

4. Angle Adjustment

Angle adjustment is a crucial aspect to consider when selecting the best drawing boards for architects and designers. An ideal board should offer the flexibility to modify its angle according to user comfort, which can alleviate neck and back stress during prolonged work sessions.

Image Source: staedtler.com

Opt for a board that provides a wide range of angle adjustments, enabling you to discover the most comfortable working position.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Best Drawing Boards

1. Do architects still use drawing boards?

Several architects continue to use drafting tables for their designs. Despite the prevalence of computer-aided drafting in modern architecture, the tactile experience of hand drawing remains popular. Artists also use drafting tables for creating illustrations and sketches.

2. What is the difference between a drafting board and a drawing board?

A drafting board and a drawing board provide large, flat surfaces for drawing. However, a key difference lies in the adjustable drafting head integrated into drafting boards. This feature allows users to set the board at any position and angle, enhancing precision and flexibility in their work.

3. What is the best size drawing board?

The ideal drawing board size, especially for beginners, is approximately 23" by 26", like the Art Advantage Board. It's thin, durable, and versatile, allowing you to prop it against a desk during use or easily store it under your bed when not in use.

4. What is a drawing board in architecture?

A drawing board, also referred to as a drawing table, architect's table, or drafting table, is, in its traditional form, a type of multipurpose desk suitable for a wide variety of tasks, including but not limited to drawing, writing, impromptu sketching, reading large format books or other oversized documents, and drafting precise blueprints.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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