View Full Version : Acrylic on canvas question

12-06-2011, 01:26 AM
I am putting gesso on a canvas on which I will be painting with acrylics. I read that if one is going to paint with oils it's a good idea to put enough layers on the canvas to cover all the pin holes you can see when you hold the canvas up to the light. Is the same standard a good idea to follow when using acrylics? In other words, is it wise for me to make sure there are no pin holes in the canvas before I begin an acrylic painting?

12-06-2011, 04:21 AM
While not required, I do much the same. I also tend to minimize the texture of the canvas by starting off with a portrait smooth canvas and then prime it several more times. In this case it is a matter of personal preference but not really mandatory.

12-06-2011, 05:25 AM
I suppose it depends on what you would like to paint and on your personal style.
I did a lot of paintings with the canvas showing through, that often fits my style. Others don't because I want the painting to be more quiet, coherent.
I think its really a matter of decision for each painting, no absolute "to do".

12-06-2011, 10:20 AM
It is not required for acrylics.

12-06-2011, 01:04 PM
Personally, I find a lot depends on the condition of the canvas, some pre-primed canvas is very rough and unevenly applied which is hard to transfer a sketch to and wears down brushes quickly. It may not be necessary to add gesso but sometimes it is a great improvement on pre-stretched canvas. I think doubly so if you like to transfer detailed sketches to the surface. Just my opinion -- besides I simply do not like pinholes left from a poorly gessoed canvas.

12-06-2011, 02:23 PM
Is the same standard a good idea to follow when using acrylics?
In short, no. You can in theory paint directly onto fabric with acrylic paints - no sizing or priming.

With acrylics, I think the thing to aim for above everything is the surface you want, more or less textured, more or less absorbent etc.


12-06-2011, 03:06 PM
Thank you all for your thorough and informative answers. Very much appreciated.