To answer Beth's question posed in the comments of the last post, I will try to explain the difference between two of the most popular traditional and contemporary choices artists have to paint on today.
I prefer one over the other, but it is based solely on preference. Both are archival quality and galleries accept both supports (or painting surfaces).
Above, is pictured what I was heading to Lowe's for materials to build. A cradled hardboard is basically a piece of masonite painted with several layers of gesso (special off-white acrylic paint used to prepare rigid or flexible surfaces for painting- sort-of like an artist's primer) and then glued to a box frame, or cradle.
Below are two ways to wrap a frame with canvas. One leaves the frame on the side somewhat exposed and will need to be framed, the other wraps all the way around the internal frame and can be hung as is (assuming the board is wide enough to not look weird unframed on the wall--I would say no thinner than an inch or inch and a half).
Because I was on my way to get materials for the first support described, you are safe to assume that masonite is where my preferences lie. I do not like the texture of canvas, or the way it gives when the brush makes contact. Certain techniques in painting, like rubbing out, certainly lend themselves more to using canvas, but I find I much prefer a rigid surface. A side note, the Mona Lisa was painted on poplar board.