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Make Art Wherever You Travel With The Buddha Board

Buddha Board
Capture the landscapes and wildlife at your campsite with just a paintbrush and some water

Make Art Wherever You Travel With The Buddha Board

You don’t need a lot of space for art supplies to be creative while you’re RVing. Many traveling artists turn to other mediums such as digital photography or a good old-fashioned pen/pencil and sketchbook to capture the beautiful landscapes everywhere they visit. There is yet another medium that RVers can now use to make art everywhere they venture, the Buddha Board, and all it takes is a little bit of water.

The Buddha Board is based on the Zen concept of living in the moment and learning how to let go. Instead of acrylic paint, you use water to make your masterpiece, which can only be seen for about 1-10 minutes before it dries and fades away, leaving you with a blank canvas for another image.

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The boards come in three sizes, including the Original Buddha Board, the Mini board, and the Enso Infinite Art Board. The Enso is medium-size and uses a brush pen that is filled with water, rather than a regular paintbrush, which come with the other two.

The three sizes of Buddha Boards. All photos by Nikki Cleveland
The three sizes of Buddha Boards. All photos by Nikki Cleveland

The Buddha Board comes in three sizes

The Enso and the Mini board both have compact, easy-to-store cases that fold open into their own stands. The Original Board is placed in the water tray to stand or it can alternatively be laid down flat to paint. The water tray also has a convenient groove to hold your bamboo brush and it can optionally be filled with river rocks as well.

Buddha Board
The Original Buddha Board, before painting. Make sure the red Buddha (on the water tray) is facing you and the board is set in the square grooves. Otherwise, the board will not stay up when you paint.

How to use the Buddha Board

All you need to paint is clean, room temperature water. You do not want to get the board overly saturated or completely filled with water. Use a soft clean cloth to carefully dab any excess water off the board as needed. Extra water can not only ruin the board but even a little bit will cause drips going down the board that mess up your painting.

Setting up the boards is quick and easy, as is taking them down when it’s time to pack up and leave the RV park or campground. Allow your painting to dry and simply dump out the water. No mess, no chemicals, no problem.

The more water you use, the longer it takes for the image to disappear. The boards are advertised to last a lifetime with proper care and usage. Avoid touching the surface of the board and be sure to never use anything other than water (such as soaps, pencils, crayons, pens, etc).

The boards are very similar to painting, but instead of different hues and colors, you can work with different values by using more or less saturation and painting over things that have started to fade so they appear more like a shadow. The techniques are all the same as using a regular paintbrush. If you’re not very experienced in painting, watch any episode of “The Joy Of Painting” with Bob Ross and you’ll surely pick up a tip or two.

Buddha Board
RV LIFE – Already starting to fade before I could pull out my camera

The Mini board measures 5 by 5-and-a-half inches and opens like a CD case that props up into its own stand. It comes with a smaller brush that can be set down below the canvas while painting, or placed in its designated holder when it’s time to close up the board for storage.

Buddha Board
Watch your drawing fade away

Like the Mini board, the medium-sized Enso Infinite Art Board folds open into its own stand. It uses a brush pen that is filled with water, as opposed to a paintbrush dipped in water, making it a great choice for those who are more comfortable with pen and pencil drawing than painting.

The boards can be used creatively, without the need to drag around paint and painting accessories in your RV, or they can also work great as a meditation tool. Nothing is quite as relaxing as kicking back at the campground and capturing the beauty of your surrounding nature with some water and a few simple brushstrokes. Since they only use water, the boards are both environmentally friendly and popular among parents with artistic children.

Get your own portable art supplies

The boards are readily available on Amazon and vary in price. The Original Buddha Board is about $35, the Enzo Infinite Board is about $25, and the Mini board is $15. You can learn more about the company and their products on their website

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