View Full Version : Pastel on Canvas?

02-19-2010, 11:40 PM
I have been working for nearly the last two year in mixed media... combining a very matte acrylic paint with pastel and gold leaf on a paper support. The works are rather large, averaging around 42" wide by 7 feet tall. I have been contemplating expanding in scale. This would push me beyond the ability to frame the works with a standard 4x8' glass or plexi and anytime you go beyond this standard scale glass and framing increases astronomically in price. I have toyed with the notion of several panels like a triptych or Japanese screen... but I am also wondering if anyone has any experience with utilizing pastel on canvas or linen. I have toyed with the idea of using canvas/linen treated with a ground or primer with very fine sand as a means of increasing the tooth... and the surface texture. Again... any thoughts... experiences?

02-20-2010, 05:40 AM
There are people working on canvas, primed, and also ungessoed and 'raw'. It has been discussed in this forum, so do a "search this forum" with the word 'canvas' (as it is very rarely used here). Can't help you at the moment, as I get "database error" when trying to search.


02-20-2010, 06:19 AM
Again... any thoughts... experiences?
One item: Soft Pastel on Canvas, no glass (http://jocastilloartblog.blogspot.com/2006/12/soft-pastel-on-canvas-no-glass.html), Jo Castillo


02-20-2010, 11:19 AM
I've used canvas board with two layers of Colourfix sanded primer and it came out great for both soft pastels and oil pastels. I don't see that there'd be any problem with stretched canvas, it'd come out about the same -- only framing it might be tricky because of the depth needed for spacers and the stretchers.

02-20-2010, 10:13 PM
Hi Stlukesguild
When I first started out with pastels 3 years ago I did one on acrylic primed canvas. To be fair if it wasn't for all of the fixative (cheap hairspray) I used at the time them most of the pastel would have fallen off by now. Needless to say I don't work like that any more. I have not read the threads on using canvas but I suspect there is always a risk that a flexible support will shed pastel unless it is fixed quite heavily which is something I avoid completely. Given the size of the boards you wish to work on have you considered using MDF with a timber bracing frame of say 2 x 1 inch timber which could be attached around the edges and after priming could give the look of a box canvas? Once completed you could drill into the outer edges and fit glass or whatever to cover the piece using spacers to keep the glass from touching the work.
Just a thought