This bracket is usually a hard woody, semicircular bracket, but can sometimes form a rosette. It can also form overlapping tiers. The upper surface can be quite uneven and knobbly as it ages, and it has a mixture of browns, reds and ochres, with a white or cream margin. The underside has fine rounded pores, with a thin white or cream surface which when scratched reveals darker lines, hence its vernacular name as it can be used like a canvas to draw upon. Fruit body 10 to 60cm wide, 2 to 8cm thick.
It fruits all year round. It is a parasite on the trunks of broadleaved trees, found growing solitary or in tiers on dead or living wood. Widespread but occasional.