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platapie1
10-01-2004, 01:21 PM
Hello all-

Found a steller deal on some linen canvas. Want to try it out - never used it. Since I use acrylics, I would like to prime it with clear gesso so that some of the "raw" linen shows through, peaks out through the paint.

Question 1: I see in the Oils forum that most oil folks prime linen with RSG (bunny glue). Can I indeed use acrylic gesso on linen? What can I expect when it dries - will it shrink in a strange way?

Question 2: Can I prime it with out stretching it first? I want it to be more of a wall hanging rather than a stretched canvas in the end.

Question 3: Can someone explain to me the warp/weft thing? I am assuming the higher these numbers, the tighter the weave but what is high and what is low?

Question 4: What "weight" should I be looking for if I would like to use heavy weight, nubbly linen because I like a lot of texture?

Thank you, oh experts...

Aimee :rolleyes:

Charlie's Mum
10-01-2004, 01:35 PM
There's probably an expert lurking somewhere.......
Einion will almost certainly know something about the effects of gesso on linen!!!!!! I'll most likely be in trouble for saying this, but he's knowlegeable about most technical things! So I'm passing on that one! :p

Warp/weft refers to the weave.....the warp is set up on the loom (the long threads) and the thread weaving across it is the weft. If the thread count is a high number, the weave will be closer.....so think fewer holes!

The weight will be whatever you prefer I imagine - the finer the thread, the lighter the fabric etc. The coarser the thread, the more slubs ther are likely to be.

Another suggestion - you could try one of the fabric forums for more info.

Sorry I can't be of more help! :D

David46807
10-01-2004, 02:07 PM
I can't answer all of your questions, but I can address the first one. You can certainly use acrylic gesso on linen. If you want the linen to show through, than you do not need to use gesso, but I don't recommend painting directly on raw canvas. What I do for either linen or cotton is first apply two thin coats of Golden's GAC100 -- this is great stuff for protecting the painting. Then I either apply gesso over that or, if I want the natural look of the canvas, I apply a coat or two of medium (GAC100 is probably sufficient, but I feel better with something over that -- fluid medium, regular, soft gel.....any will do).

Hope that helps a little.

David

timelady
10-01-2004, 03:58 PM
1. Yes you can just use acrylic gesso. In fact, some companies make a clear acrylic gesso! :) I think Golden does but I'm pretty sure there's another brand around too. Also, there's no problems painting on unprimed linen or canvas with acrylic (as there is with oils).

2. No, you don't have to stretch if you won't be stretching the end piece. 3

3. Er, I don't know. ;)

4. I don't usually see weights but terms like fine, extra fine, and rough (rough being the knobbly-est!). So that could be something to look for too.

Tina.

platapie1
10-01-2004, 05:19 PM
OKAY - great. So I have a few ways to go here:

- acrylics over a medium over GAC100 on linen
- acrylics over clear gesso on linen

But there seems to be a difference of opinion about painting on raw linen (completely unprimed) with acrylics. David - you don't recommend it?

Aimee

David46807
10-02-2004, 08:30 AM
Aimee, one can apply directly acrylics directly on linen -- or just about any other support for that matter -- and often without any problems. But problems can occur and I'd rather not take my chances. One such potential problem is discoloration resulting from impurities picked up from the support. When acrylic paint cures, water exits both through the surface of the paint and through the back -- and as the paint dries there will be a period of time (depending on temperature, humidity, etc.) during which the water will move in both directions. And that is when impurities can be moved from the support to the paint. Many acrylic mediums will prevent that from happening (gesso alone won't) -- I use GAC 100 because it has been specifically tested for blocking discoloration.

Einion
10-02-2004, 10:52 AM
Hi Aimee, given the lovely colour of natural linen I can see why you'd like to have some of it show through.

Question 1: I see in the Oils forum that most oil folks prime linen with RSG (bunny glue). Can I indeed use acrylic gesso on linen? What can I expect when it dries - will it shrink in a strange way?
Yes you can use acrylic 'gesso' on linen - most commercial canvases are primed with acrylic primers these days. As Tina has said there are some clear 'gessos' out there. You can just use thinned applications of acrylic medium if you like too but it won't add any additional tooth.

As Tina says unlike with oils you can paint directly on the canvas with acrylic paint if you want, although a light sizing will make it less susceptible to changes in humidity. The problem David refers to is SID (support-induced discolouration) which you might want to look up on the Golden site but I don't think this is a great problem unless you're concerned about long-term archival issues.

Question 2: Can I prime it with out stretching it first? I want it to be more of a wall hanging rather than a stretched canvas in the end.
Yes. But for practical painting considerations I would tape or tack it to a board for painting so that it's quite flat and as taut as you can make it.

Question 3: Can someone explain to me the warp/weft thing? I am assuming the higher these numbers, the tighter the weave but what is high and what is low?
Thread count is basically exactly what it sounds like but I don't know the figures for linen. It will of course vary from weight to weight also, 'portrait-quality' linen is fine and relatively thin, with a high thread count. Heavier linens are thicker and coarser with a lower thread count.

Question 4: What "weight" should I be looking for if I would like to use heavy weight, nubbly linen because I like a lot of texture?
Er, heavy? :D

Einion

platapie1
10-02-2004, 04:32 PM
Thanks Einion, David, Tina. This helps me a lot. I did go and read about SID. I think I would rather be safe than sorry (even after I am gone and the painting remains).

Merci!

Aimée :)

joa
10-02-2004, 09:01 PM
Fabric foums, Maureen! Where? :confused:

LarrySeiler
10-03-2004, 12:00 AM
I adhere linen to board and paint with oils or with acrylics....

Acrylics do not have the issue of acids that oils have, whereby the fabric must be protected from what the oils will do to it....not so with the acrylics.

bunny glue...sizes the fabric, and in the case of oils...an oil primer creates a ground over the sized fabric (linen) to receive paint.

Sizing helps firm up linen and hold the weave together, and protects the weave from the paint (but again protection from paint is not a necessary consideration with acrylic pigments)...and I've heard of artists using acrylic medium as the glue to size the linen with prior to gessoing with acrylic gesso.

Larry