View Full Version : Colorfix on Canvas
02-16-2008, 04:04 PM
This message got only one barely response in the "Technic" thread, but I am still looking for more input:
"I'm wondering about applying ColorFix primer to a canvas support to fill up the holes and then use it for oil pastel. Any thoughts?" Please
Shirl, sorry I missed your question in the other thread. Re archival issues - ordinary cheap canvas boards, like I generally use, are layers of cardboard with canvas on top and are not archival. You can buy canvas boards with the canvas mounted on hardboard and these are archival, for example Fredrix Archival Canvas Board. I have a few of these more expensive ones, but I'm waiting until I can paint oil paintings well enough to justify their use. Now, with regard to filling in the holes. I haven't used Colourfix primer on my boards but I have used extra gesso layers and it does NOT fill up the holes. My guess is that the primer won't either because it's like a gesso with an added component for grippyness. But why not give it a try and see. I certainly like the Colourfix paper surface for OPs and Pat applies it to clayboard successfully. I'm using canvas board much less frequently for OPs because of the 'hole' problem and also because I like the freedom to use whatever size suits the image. But canvas boards are great for putting in store-bought frames just to look at. Jane
02-16-2008, 04:57 PM
Shirl, if the canvas is large and raw or unprimed it would certainly be cheaper to put a coat of acrylic gesso or acrylic mat medium on it first before using the more expensive Colourfix primer. If the canvas is small or has already been primed with acrylic gesso I would see no problem with using the Colourfix directly as it is similar to gesso. I would not put the Colourfix primer on top of an oil-based primer. I'm not sure if you should use oil pastels on a flexible support. If you put the canvas on a firm backing there should be no problem. Is this a stretched canvas and what size is it?
02-16-2008, 05:07 PM
Hi Jane, I guess we cross posted. I didn't think of the canvas on the ordinary boards as I always make my own boards with masonite and unprimed canvas.
Shirl, please disregard my advice if it doesn't apply.
02-16-2008, 05:19 PM
I don't actually have any size in mind yet. One thing I wondered about was if it were likely that the Colorfix would crack because of the flexibility of the canvas (I wasn't thinking of boards).
The other issue of flexibility of the canvas while painting could be countered by cutting some foamcore the size of the inner dimensions of the back of the canvas frame, to the thickness of the frame stretcher itself, and then removed when done. If it was a result you like to begin with, you could make a foamcore insert for two or three different size canvases, and you would be able to use them over and over.
02-16-2008, 06:06 PM
Shirl, if you are using a flexible canvas, then I would definitely put a backing in it while you are working. I'm sure the colorfix ground would work if the canvas had a gesso primer on it. I have worked over gesso on boards and put 2 coats of colorfix on it and there were on holes in my finished piece.
02-16-2008, 06:13 PM
Shirl, I went to the manufacturers website at www.artspectrum.com.au and clicked on "Colourfix". They say that it can be used on canvas. If you click on "Information" specific questions can be asked.
Hope this helps...
Pat, I think the problem of holes is a result of the texture of the weave, not the gesso. I'm guessing the looseness of the weave of the canvas would probably effect whether the Colourfix can fill in the holes. Portrait canvas is much finer, I believe, and would probably suffer less from the 'hole' problem than medium or coarse canvas. Jane
02-16-2008, 06:23 PM
Yes, I realize that. It's just that I found putting ground and prime on canvas tends to reduce the texture, at least it did when I was oil painting(I guess I never used any very textured canvas). I do agree that a finer texture canvas would be best.
02-16-2008, 06:49 PM
It doesn't really get rid of the holes, but does give the canvas a nice sanded texture, whereas the weave can be slick and annoying to wotk on with o.p.s.. I haven't done it with Colorfix, but with other pumice grounds.
02-16-2008, 09:04 PM
Perhaps I'm missing the point here and if so please excuse the question.
If you are trying to fill up the holes in the canvas and attain a smoother surface texture to work on, then what is the significance of using canvas? If the colorfix surface is what you want with a more substantial support than paper, then why not eliminate the canvas and simply apply the colorfix primer directly to hardboard or whatever support you want to use it on. Correct me if I'm wrong, Wendell, but I got the impressing that the primer could be applied directly to a wide range of support from paper to ridgid.
Shirl, I guess I'm trying to understand what the significance of the canvas is since I always thought of it as the particulur weave of the canvas as often contributing to the effect of the finished work. If I'm somehow not seeing what's obvious to everyone else hope you'll forgive my ingnorace as a newbie.
02-16-2008, 10:19 PM
Bill, there are several reasons why I cover the masonite with linen. First masonite is acidic and I have seen gesso applied directly to masonite where after a number of years the acid has yellowed the gesso. Second the masonite is fairly slick and with rough handling the paint would be easily scratched or damaged. Third if the need ever arises it would be very hard to restore a painting done on masonite. My caution may be excessive but I figure that is better than too little caution.
When I prepare the masonite I first sand it to roughen the surface and then seal it with acrylic mat medium or shellac. Using an archival adhesive I glue 7 or 8 ounce linen to the masonite with the excess edges glued to the back. This glue would be reversible in the event of deterioration of the masonite without damaging the painting. Then I apply a few coats of gesso with a painting knife sanding between each one. Then it's ready to be painted on.
I hope the buyers appreciate all the work and hope that the painting will long outlast me.
02-16-2008, 10:33 PM
Thanks for explaining the process to me. I really am impressed with the understanding and care you obviously put into your work. The buyers might not appreciate it, but imagine the genations to come the will!!!
02-16-2008, 11:43 PM
Something about masonite bothers me, I guess that's why I don't consider it. I actually bought a full sheet and had it cut down so I could use the larger cuts to hold full sheets of watercolor paper while painting. I got the rest cut in more manageable sizes. The board and the cuts for a mere $6. It sat in my closet for a bit and then I noticed all the fraying dust around the edges. After that, I lost interest in painting on it or using it as anything other than a temporary paper holder.
I think I'll try the colorfix on canvas the next time I come into some unxpected money.
02-17-2008, 01:00 AM
Shirl, I've never seen that happen and there have been pieces of it sitting in my studio for years. I always make sure the edges are sealed and put the linen on in such a way that it can be removed without harming the painting in case anything should happen. I only use the masonite for small paintings and most are done on stretched heavy linen.
02-17-2008, 10:06 AM
I've not seen that happen either and I have masonite that has been in my studio for a long time.
You can apply colorfix ground to either hard or soft surfaces.
02-17-2008, 03:06 PM
So how do you seal the edges of cut masonite? The rough edges, although not sharp, are frayed and do tend to shed, and it'd be nice to avoid that. There's enough crumbs from the OP's without dealing with them from the masonite too.
02-17-2008, 03:08 PM
:lol: Maybe our Texas masonite is different from New England masonite :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
02-17-2008, 06:28 PM
Hi Shirl and Bob,
Something is very strange here. Two people from Texas have crumbly hardboards (masonite) and two people from Canada and Massachusetts don't. Don't laugh Shirl; but could it be that we're referring to tempered boards while you're referring to untempered boards? Are the saw blades sharper up north? Do we prefer harder hardboards up north? Is the recipe different? I'm completely confused. I really don't get the crumbs thing.
Bob, when I prepare my masonite boards I usually do about 20 or 30 at a time and do it assembly line style. I sand them all over first so the acrylic medium will adhere better. Because of the dust this is done outside. Then I gather up several cans, etc. to set them on while drying and place them around the workspace. You can use a foam brush, small roller or old bristle brush to apply the acrylic medium. If there's a lot of the same size they get clamped together and I paint two of the edges carefully. Take off the clamps and place them horizontally, one on each can to dry. Repeat for the other edges and the backs and fronts. I've prepared hundreds of them over the years.
I have absolutely no idea how one works with the crumbly ones and really wouldn't use them. The idea is to seal them against possible moisture penetration and keep them from warping. I just bought some Fredrix Archival Linen Boards with hardboard cores because it will be less work than preparing my own. You can also buy tempered Masonite panels at Dick Blick. Ampersand makes Pastelbord which looks like northern masonite to me but I haven't tried it.
Hoping my babbling along helps a bit...
02-17-2008, 08:24 PM
Thanks for all of the great technical information on hardboard based working surfaces, Wendell. Angela
02-17-2008, 08:29 PM
I don't get it either. Mine doesn't crumble or fray. I asked my husband who is a hobby carpenter and he saws up my masonite. I asked about tempered and such and he really didn't know but thought it was a bad saw blade. Any more carpenters out there?
02-21-2008, 07:43 AM
I am not a carpenter, but I thought this link might help. This is an article in the Acrylics forum on supports, and is geared towards acrylic painting. But the first page of it discusses pressed wood type products some.
There are softer and harder versions of pressed wood panels available. The softer untempered hardboard is often sold in 1/4 inch thickness and does have a loose texture compared to the more dense hardboard. The untempered stuff would certainly fray at the edges when cut. Makes a lot of dust when cutting it too.
02-21-2008, 09:26 AM
Thanks, Paul for that very informative link. The masonite I used is tempered.
02-21-2008, 11:42 AM
I'll have to check this out at my local home depot.
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