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View Full Version : preparing a canvas...HELP


Paetau
07-11-2008, 03:10 PM
I have only ever had highschool art classes and nothing beyond that...and so my question is should I be preparing my canvas in any particular way...and if so HOW????

Shirl Parker
07-11-2008, 03:27 PM
Welcome Paetau. I don't know where you are, but in the US, most canvases come already primed and ready to paint on. If it has a label on a plastic film cover, it may tell you that.

OkeeKat
07-11-2008, 09:37 PM
Agree, I have only primes or Gesso'd Hardboard I bought from Home depot and Not the pre primed Canvas or Canvas type papers from Pads bought at Michaels or any other art store, as they are already primed/ coated to start right away. Check lables as Shirl has suggested. GOOD LUCK!

Bizkit
07-12-2008, 01:28 AM
I agree also with all of the above....BUT! Its been my experience that if you want a good solid background with little or no varience Ive found it extremely helpful to just paint 2-3 coats of your background color first. Im in the process right now of doing a rather large piece,(30x40), and the background color will be blue. Instead of trying to cut-in around everything Ive painted I think it works much better to just color the entire canvas with the background color in advance, again depending on what your doing.

Lady Carol
07-12-2008, 09:12 AM
In my experience I always add a couple coats of additional gesso to canvas for the following reasons:
1) bought canvases tend not to have a good coat of gesso. At least a second coat done by you will help to minimize the amount of paint absorbed by the canvas.
2) I hate the texture of the canvas and go out of my way to fill in the holes a little more than the way the store bought canvas comes. This also allows me to replicate the more expensive canvases for fewer bucks.
3) The paint goes on better (slicker is probably a better word) with a couple of additional coats.

Bizkit
07-12-2008, 04:22 PM
In my experience I always add a couple coats of additional gesso to canvas for the following reasons:
1) bought canvases tend not to have a good coat of gesso. At least a second coat done by you will help to minimize the amount of paint absorbed by the canvas.
2) I hate the texture of the canvas and go out of my way to fill in the holes a little more than the way the store bought canvas comes. This also allows me to replicate the more expensive canvases for fewer bucks.
3) The paint goes on better (slicker is probably a better word) with a couple of additional coats.


:clap: :clap: My thoughts exactly...I just finished slapping on 4 coats of Cobalt blue paint on a 30x40 and Im not sure if I wont put yet another one on there....bought canvas is definately too rough for me personally.:thumbsup:

mollynix
07-12-2008, 07:27 PM
I would NEVER paint directly on a so-called pre-primed canvas the way it comes from the store. This was my problem when I first started painting and knowing absolutely NOTHING about canvases except I knew they had to be primed and I accepted that they were. BUT...I have since found that I need and do apply at least 3 coats..usually 4 of gesso. Then I wet sand! I like a smooth canvas with none of the weave showing through. I undersand that some artists like the "tooth" of the canvas but in my mind, that would apply to oils rather than acrylic. Anybody agree?

Shirl Parker
07-12-2008, 09:26 PM
Not me. I underpaint enough I don't care to waste time and money with all that gesso. And I don't care about a little texture from the canvas. If I wanted a completely smooth surface, I'd use masonite.

Aires
07-17-2008, 07:11 PM
Portrait canvas is much smoother than the regular type and is considerably more expensive. A selling well known television artist advised you can achieve a portrait surface by using several coats of gesso on the cheaper stretched canvas. You must sand with very fine sandpaper between coats of gesso but you can build up as smooth a surface as you desire by this method. The practice also enables one to reuse previously painted canvas from flea markets, etc. and stretch the budget for more of our favorite paint brands.