PDA

View Full Version : Painting on Unstretched Canvas (72x72)


IrishMom
05-09-2018, 11:17 AM
Hi, I am a new acrylic artist. My gallery is really pushing me to paint on unstretched canvas, to save myself expense- and their sales process involves taking paintings to clients' homes, which is much easier if they can roll the canvases up.

I have a commission coming up for a 72x72, which I will have to paint unstretched anyway due to the size - so its probably a good jumping off point for unstretched painting. So since I've never done this before, I wanted to get tips and feedback on my plan. TIA! I'm not concerned about the scale of the piece, as so far my work has been better the larger scale it gets. I've worked 40x60 and 48x48 without issue.

First, I plan to buy a roll of 84" Fredrix Dixie canvas. Will this be enough slack to wrap 1 3/8" stretchers, or should I go to 96"?

Then I'll lay it flat (I prefer painting flat anyway, so this is a non issue), weight it down with dumbells all around the sides.

Draw and mask off the 72" area (or should it be larger than that for a slight wrap)?

The commission is largely whites and creams, so I am not necessarily concerned with the sides being unpainted, as it won't be noticeable.

Take it to the gallery once dry for stretching, and then varnish it myself at the gallery. Is this necessary - or could I do a light layer of spray varnish prior to stretching?

I use all Golden paints and Golden MSA spray varnish. I typically use fairly thick paint with impasto and medium, mostly knife painting (so I'm concerned about losing the 'tension' of a nice springy stretched canvas). I am quite concerned about the canvas wrinkling, and/or the paint peeling/cracking. Should I add a few extra layers of gesso over top Fredrix's priming? Should I use a lighter hand, thinner paint? Will I have any issues with thinner glazes over top of the heavy body paint? I attached an image of a section of one of my paintings for reference.

Thoughts, help for me? I am so very appreciative. I love challenges like this, but don't want to blow a load of money screwing it up.

IrishMom
05-09-2018, 12:19 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-May-2018/2064726-85690E7C-3350-41C9-A58D-6565716CE7A3.jpeg

Charlie's Mum
05-09-2018, 12:51 PM
Why not paint it stretched and then remove from the bars to take to the Gallery? ....... that would give you the 'spring' you like and also cover the wrapped edges problem.

IrishMom
05-09-2018, 01:58 PM
Why not paint it stretched and then remove from the bars to take to the Gallery? ....... that would give you the 'spring' you like and also cover the wrapped edges problem.

This is certainly an option, but also gives me a different set of challenges of either learning to stretch the canvas myself (yes I know I should! Iím just extremely limited on work time, having three kids. So I try to use my time on productive work), or figuring out how to get a 72Ē prestretched canvas into my basement studio. Or perhaps I can just paint in the garage for this one.

Iím sure I can do that, and will, if painting unstretched is a bad idea.

cliff.kachinske
05-09-2018, 03:40 PM
Is the canvas already primed? Are you going to apply more gesso? Do you use a lot of water in your paints?

Answers to those questions will help you decide how to proceed.

Charlie's Mum
05-09-2018, 03:51 PM
The forum on framing here might have ideas too.... especially about rolled canvas with very thick acrylic paint. I've never sent a rolled canvas anywhere so no experience like that .. but I seem to remember advice to roll ac. canvases inwardly.... so hopefully thin glazes over thick shouldn't crack or loosen .... but thin the glazes with medium not water.

For other forums use the Forum Jump at the bottom of any page, faster navigation!:)

IrishMom
05-09-2018, 04:24 PM
Is the canvas already primed? Are you going to apply more gesso? Do you use a lot of water in your paints?

Answers to those questions will help you decide how to proceed.

Yes it is 12oz canvas primed to 17.5oz. I did a test panel for the work. Steps were heavy body medium for texture, re-gesso over top. Then fluid and high flow acrylics. Followed by isolation coat and then varnish.

No water in this particular work. I can apply as much or as little extra gesso as needed to make this work well. I am no longer concerned about canvas bounce as I am using a little different technique than my typical.

Thank you!

IrishMom
05-09-2018, 04:27 PM
Test panel. I used less heavy body paint/medium to help with the rolling, etc.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-May-2018/2064726-D388B0EF-EF8E-4858-8A73-5F669E02F738.jpeg

cliff.kachinske
05-09-2018, 05:25 PM
Thought of this just moments after posting this. What I've written applies to my experience with cotton canvas. If you're using linen, I have no idea about it; never used it.

Okay, great. If it didn't cockle you're probably home free.

I allow a little extra margin on the painting area, just in case, one quarter inch on a side on an 18 X 24 inch canvas. I've never had a painting shrink, but I'm a fanatic about sealing canvas. I use three layers of gloss medium. Gesso is not a very good sealer.

At any rate, I think you can just tape it to your support surface and have at it.

Ellis Ammons
05-09-2018, 06:45 PM
Im no expert and rarely paint on canvas. You should definitely contact Golden about best practices.

If it was me I would stretch it. Size it. Paint it. And let it cure that way for about 6 months. Then roll it up if I had to.

Acrylic will shrink and pull in as it dries. If it doesn't have something solid to pull against it might wrinkle up. Really thick impasto can take years to dry..

Katie Black
05-09-2018, 07:13 PM
Hi, the biggest concern I would have is that when you roll up the canvas you may have cracking. I used to use a lot of stucco texture with my abstract paintings and I found that I was unable to roll the canvas afterward due to cracking.

I am not certain that you would experience the same but it would be devasting for you if that happened. I think I would experiment, try applying some thick paint on a bit of canvas and see what happens when it dries and you roll it up.

I think CM idea is the best for the actual painting, due to the size. If you have it on a frame you will be able to walk away from it, look at it from different angles/light, whereas on the floor it might be tricky to get a good idea if it is 'working' for you or not.

cliff.kachinske
05-09-2018, 07:58 PM
You should definitely contact Golden about best practices.


Good call Ellis. I agree.

IrishMom
05-09-2018, 08:03 PM
Im no expert and rarely paint on canvas. You should definitely contact Golden about best practices.

If it was me I would stretch it. Size it. Paint it. And let it cure that way for about 6 months. Then roll it up if I had to.

Acrylic will shrink and pull in as it dries. If it doesn't have something solid to pull against it might wrinkle up. Really thick impasto can take years to dry..
Yes Iíve concluded that impasto is a bad idea. So my test piece really didnít include any thick areas. So I believe Iíve eliminated that variable.

As I only have to go about 3 miles to the gallery I think I can roll the painting quite loosely or just hire a truck. But guess itís best to start with it stretched seems to be the consensus.

IrishMom
05-09-2018, 08:09 PM
Good call Ellis. I agree.

Yes I will. Thank you

IrishMom
05-09-2018, 08:38 PM
Thank you for all the input. I appreciate all the thoughts. Iíll have to ask the gallery if some of the artists that they have painting unstretched would be willing to discuss with me. I see so many doing it on Instagram as well! So it seems there must be some formula that works. But Iíll cross that bridge another day! Probably best to let the size itself be the new variable without adding in a change in method as well.

kin3
05-10-2018, 10:30 AM
consider a wall easel. look it up on YouTube.

Katie Black
05-10-2018, 11:26 AM
I hope we get to see the finished painting. :)

IrishMom
05-10-2018, 11:33 AM
I hope we get to see the finished painting. :)
Well the good news is my mom saw the test board and loved it and asked for a 24Ēx72Ē diptych for one of her properties. So I get to test out the colors/technique for someone who loves everything I do before I do it for the interior designer commission! 😬👍 Anyway, yes Iíll post the diptych for sure and the commission if I win the work!

IrishMom
05-10-2018, 11:43 AM
Finished test board. http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-May-2018/2064726-D1B36693-63B2-46CF-A640-D3CEA620827D.jpeg

Katie Black
05-11-2018, 08:14 PM
Gorgeous! I think your mom will love it.

maryinasia
05-11-2018, 10:52 PM
beautiful

ddattler
05-12-2018, 04:08 AM
Nice piece.. I would loosely mount the piece on a stretcher to paint it. Personally, being a gallery owner in 2 galleries, I would prefer to never ship a painting rolled up. Too many issues with damage to the painted surface. Cracking.....Or, Burnishing for instance can wear on the paint, even with a barrier between the rolled layers. The longer it's rolled, the more likely there will be damage. Only as a last resort would I recommend it. Make sure it's absolutely dry first. Acrylics may be more forgiving to cracking than Oils, but they're still susceptible.

fedetony
05-14-2018, 09:12 AM
You can always roll it, just depends on the diameter of the roll... you could use a PVC drain tube as a base (they come in several different diameters, wrap it in packing paper,or foam, or cardboard and then roll the painting around it. Once rolled you can remove it if you want. Notice the painted side shall go outwards, not inwards. Acrylics and oils resist better the stretching than the compressing, i.e it forms cracks when you compress it. If you give it enough diameter, it will not have any issue. A good measure for the diameter is to use 2 to 3 turns so your Diameter=Length_Painting/(Number turns*Pi)
D=72/(3*pi)=7.6 up to D=72/(2*pi)=11.6 or anything in between :).
Use cellophane paper over the complete surface before you roll it, it would be unpleasant that the painting sticks to the backside. You need to separate it somehow.
PS: you can use the baking paper for the oven ;) It comes in long roles and is quite inexpensive.And of course nothing attaches to it ;)