Author: Larry_Seiler, Contributing Editor
|First a disclaimer ... I won't say that by providing this lesson, I am the authority on ideal paint supports. Any short time spent on an arts forum brings the recognition that many consider such to be a precise science, and especially where oils are concerned. My purpose though, is simply to show what it is that "I" do, and what works for me. I hope as a result, you have a springboard demo to get you started.|
To begin, I have a 12" x 16" cut masonite, this one being tempered. Acrylic medium. Cotton duck canvas or linen, (your choice), and I prefer ungessoed. Gesso...which I will add black acrylic paint into for a gray surface. A sponge brush for application of the medium and gesso.
Untempered boards require sealing in the back to prevent moisture from humidity and aging. Since I am painting on the canvas itself, I am not concerned to use tempered boards...which are treated and impregnated with oil. I don't bother sealing the back since in essence that's what being "tempered" means.
|There are a number of adhesives that can be used to apply canvas to the board. I have tried Elmer's Glue...but, it dries unevenly, and haven't had much luck prevently the canvas from shifting and buckling in spots. Recently, it was reported on the "Oil Paint" forum of Wetcanvas! that there is a cornstarch in Elmer's that will give you problems down the road.|
Some use rabbitskin glue, which is the traditional method. I heard last year though that a form of bacteria can literally eat this glue, which is a form of protein.
I have had great success using Acrylic Medium which dries fast without buckling, and holds strong. Here you see me applying the medium liberally over the whole surface of the board panel...
|Here I am positioning the canvas over the medium-readied panel. I have about one to 1-1/2" of canvas around the edges to later fold over.|
|Now...I rub the surface to stretch the canvas out flat, and help work the medium between the canvas and board into the weave. It also assures I will leave no air pockets.|
|To make sure the surface is evenly saturated and to adhere properly, I now work medium over the surface and into the canvas completely. Since acrylic has a great deal of water content...its drying will see much of the water evaporate. For such reason, I am not worried about losing the texture of my canvas weave.|