What is Mylar? It is a polyester film commonly used in everything from plastic bags, insulation, emergency blankets, fake fingernails, the list goes on.
Architects and planners typically use Mylar as overlays for blueprints. Mylar's translucent film surface can accept graphite, ink, or marker - perfect for planning or drafting. It can probably even sustain thin layers of acrylic paint. But, I'd think of it more as a drawing surface than a painting surface.
I decided to put Mylar to work as a surface for large-scale ink drawings.
What I found was Mylar is extremely mutable. If you draw something you don't like, you can remove it, even if you're using sharpie or ink.
From what I tried, both Copic markers and Prismacolor markers were mutable on Mylar. Acrylic ink could be removed with either water or my favorite removal method: nail polish remover. The nail polish remover wiped off ink and didn't damage the Mylar surface. Mylar is almost a little creepy that way. Nothing can really kill it, yet it is always able to change.
The only possible downside with Mylar is the semi-translucency. To display a Mylar piece without a wall showing through behind it, it would have to be backed with a large piece of paper.
More creatively you could back a Mylar drawing with dark paper, or throw it under plexiglass and paint over the glass as well. It would also work to put a drawing on Mylar, sandwich it with plexiglass, and add LEDs beneath the glass. This would be a pretty rad install and would take out the legwork and pain of drawing on plexiglass.
Probably the best part about Mylar is the ability to use ink freely. Ink on Mylar creates the impossible: a mutable ink drawing. You can lay down ink like Jack Kirby and not worry about it looking wrong or having to use whiteout, which is amazing. Bad ink can just get removed with water or with a damp paper towel.
Since everything on Mylar can be changed, the best way to keep everything unchangeable and unsmudged is to spray down a finished piece with fixative.
Overall, Mylar and its relatives work well if you are looking to make drawings on a non-canvas, non-paper material. It works for large-scale drawings but small-scale mylar or duralar is largely available for tracing projects that require a finer material than traditional tracing paper.