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Old 06-29-2007, 06:38 AM
bundyrap bundyrap is offline
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airbrushing on canvas

Hi

I'd like some advise about painting on canvas. I'm currently using createx acrylic colours and very low pressure (10-12psi) so I thin them down almost 50/50 and paint onto 300gsm water colour paper. This has been working fine but framing pictures is so expensive and I don't really like pictures under glass so I'd much prefer to use stretched canvas - ready to hang. I've tried the cheap Chinese canvases from the bargain shops for practise but they seem to have a plasticy surface which tends to make the paint run if I'm not really careful to build up extremely slowly. Even the good quality canvases which have been primed are a little "slippery". Do others who ab onto canvas use unprimed canvas or perhaps paint suitable for non porous surfaces.

Does anyone have advise for airbrushing createx onto canvas? I'd certainly appreciate any input.

cheers
Patsy, Australia
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Old 06-29-2007, 07:01 AM
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Re: airbrushing on canvas

I know that when I paint on canvas I prefer to paint on gessoed canvas that I have prepared. This is a little time consuming so it is best if you prepare a few ahead of time. t gives a nice smooth surface and I like the results. I live in China so most of what I can get is the cheap Chinese canvas material but I find that once I prep it with gesso that even it is fine. I usually put on about 10 or fifteen thin coats of gesso letting each coat dry before applying the next and sanding between coats the last few coats to achieve an utra smooth surface. This is very similar to the technique that A.D. Cook describes you can find out about it on his website if you like.
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Old 06-29-2007, 01:49 PM
srilyk srilyk is offline
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Re: airbrushing on canvas

and if you have a little bit of coordination, it's actually really easy (and a bit cheaper) to stretch your own canvas, all you need are the parts (canvas, bars) and the tools (staple gun, canvas pliers [around $15 in the US]).
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Old 06-29-2007, 01:56 PM
GlenTaylor GlenTaylor is offline
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Re: airbrushing on canvas

I would have to agree with Sam, prime the canvas using the method Ad Cook give on his site, it seals the canvas and give the best surface to paint on, dont skimp, it weather it.

Glen
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Old 06-29-2007, 01:58 PM
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Re: airbrushing on canvas

I've done the multi layers of gesso thing, and while it yields a nice surface, Sam's right, it's a little time-consuming--especially if you do it only one canvas at a time.

If I want to shoot paint on a minimally-prepped canvas, then I'll often buy a Fredrix blue label (portrait, "ultra-smooth" but still has a texture), but usually I'll just stretch my own from pre-gessoed canvas rolls. In either event, before I shoot paint, I lightly scuff the surface with a gray scotch-brite pad, just to give it a little tooth. (Also, since I gallery-wrap my canvases but don't actually paint the edges, I'll tape the edges so they stay white.)
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Old 06-29-2007, 05:00 PM
airbrush_ken airbrush_ken is offline
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Re: airbrushing on canvas

Excellent information guys,
I have just started stretching my raw canvas over some 3/8" custom board, as i plane to re-stretch it later. I am trying to have a solid backing while I apply coats of gesso and also support for sanding. I'll let you know how it works out.

Patsy,

Another problem with thinning Createx with water is the lack of adhesion on the canvas. I usually spray a couple of coats of un-thinned medium with a touch of white added. This will give your paint something to stick to..it's self.

Ken
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Old 06-29-2007, 07:40 PM
bundyrap bundyrap is offline
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Re: airbrushing on canvas

Thanks to all who have replied. I'm going to be busy today preparing some canvas surfaces.

I suspect that I'm thinning the paint a bit too much as well so will try less water and if necessary up the pressure a bit.

Ken, what is the medium you mention for createx as I'd like to try that to help it stick to itself. That made sense. I have a createx colour brochure and they only list the addtives:transparent base, opaque base, retarder, gloss and matt top coat and the cleaners. I know you're not keen on the createx paints but as I've just bought them I have to use them up for now - I'm not a professional so it's OK lol

I'm aiming to enter a couple of pics into a local art show. It's traditional art not airbrush so I'm not sure how it will be received - they're often biased against airbrushing but I don't care. It gives me a goal and date to work towards and I'm having a lot of fun practising my portraits.

cheers all
Patsy
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Old 06-29-2007, 08:11 PM
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Re: airbrushing on canvas

Patsy,

Don't be worried about entering AB art in a 'normal' art show, if it's good it should do well, in 2005, my AB instructor got Best of Show at the Iowa State Fair, (locally it's a big deal and gets entries from all over the country) and while it might of pissed a few people off it was because it was a really good peice. The airbrush is just another tool for applying paint to a canvas it isn't a diffrent type of art.

-Margot
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Old 06-29-2007, 08:38 PM
airbrush_ken airbrush_ken is offline
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Re: airbrushing on canvas

Margot is spot on Patsy...
First off don't enter your work as "Airbrush Art" First off there is no such thing. Enter it a acrylic art work, which is usually a entry class.
I made my living in 82-85 in Sydney selling at local shows.. I support a wive and son and afforded a trip home to the USA on what I made. Go for it girl!!
By the way landscapes are the biggest sellers with seascapes always selling in Sydney.
I actually post a "charity art" project I did here a few weeks ago. Take a look at it for some reference.

Quote:
transparent base
is another name for medium and why are you up this early on a Saturday...lol...

Best of luck with your efforts and maybe you could post a picture of your project... also remember the Royal Easter show has a great competition.

Ken
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Old 06-29-2007, 09:29 PM
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Hidiho Hidiho is offline
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Re: airbrushing on canvas

Hi Patsy,

I started out using the cheaper pre-primed canvas and using AD Cooks method of laying down several coats of gesso (about 10), I found that the cheaper canvas ended up with an indent a few inches from the canvas edge which was caused from too much pressure when laying the gesso or rubbing back with wet and dry and the inside edge of the stretcher bar is where the indent occurred...

I have since moved onto making my own stretched canvas (made only one so far) and this eliminated the problem of the indent..

I bought the canvas roll and lengths of stretcher bar (pine) and canvas stretcher pliers from my framer and bought a mitre saw from bunnings as well as an airstaple gun. It took about an hour to make my first canvas and for my first attempt it turned out much better than the cheaper pre-primed canvas's..

I have used two types of gesso Artelier and Matisse,

Artelier is thicker of the two and is easier to lay down and dries quicker but when sanded back it doesn't have that ultra Ultra smooth surface..

Matisse is thinner and takes longer to lay down as it takes a a tad longer to dry but the finish afterwards is so much smoother than the artelier.

It can take between 1-2 weeks from start to finish to prepare a stretched canvas and the most tedious part is rubbbing back the gesso with wet and dry sandpaper....

Oh!!!!! another tip, don't skimp on sandpaper either, I found the cheaper wet and dry tended to leave sand particles embedded in the gesso, last time I bought wet and dry (20 sheet pack) from Bunnings and it worked a treat with no drama's.

Hope this helps a little..

Cheers
Hidiho
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Old 06-30-2007, 12:46 AM
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Re: airbrushing on canvas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hidiho
Hi Patsy,

I started out using the cheaper pre-primed canvas and using AD Cooks method of laying down several coats of gesso (about 10), I found that the cheaper canvas ended up with an indent a few inches from the canvas edge which was caused from too much pressure when laying the gesso or rubbing back with wet and dry and the inside edge of the stretcher bar is where the indent occurred...


Because I'm not committed enough to stretch my own canvas unless I'm doing it because I want to shoot on raw canvas I have found that the occasional warping or indenting can be fixed by lightly spraying the back of a gessoed canvas with plain water or with a canvas tightener that can be purchased at most art stores, but if it is small water is cheaper...
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Old 06-30-2007, 10:38 PM
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Re: airbrushing on canvas

Quote:
Originally Posted by celtic.catgirl
Because I'm not committed enough to stretch my own canvas unless I'm doing it because I want to shoot on raw canvas I have found that the occasional warping or indenting can be fixed by lightly spraying the back of a gessoed canvas with plain water or with a canvas tightener that can be purchased at most art stores, but if it is small water is cheaper...

Thanks for that tip Celtic,

So many tips and tricks to learn......

Hidiho
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Old 07-01-2007, 08:04 AM
bundyrap bundyrap is offline
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Re: airbrushing on canvas

Wow, that AD Cook does some amazing work, I love it - that's what I'm aiming for! lol At this stage though everything is a learning curve. I haven't stretched my own canvas and for the moment have enough on my plate but will no doubt get around to that in the future and have taken on the tips. I'm still putting layers of gesso onto a trial canvas.

In the meantime I'm still spraying onto water colour paper and I have to admit I like it. I'm using the smooth but it still has a slight texture and I like this effect for a portrait. I actually tried rolling a coat of clear estapol (water based varnish) to seal it and it worked fine with no ill effect on the paper. I'm going to try glueing the paper to a backing board then framing it without glass. I don't know how this would go if I was selling them - maybe people prefer canvas or more conventional framing with glass but at this stage I'm not selling anything, just giving them away to friends who I use as guinea pigs!

To Margot and Ken, I'm not personally worried about entering my airbrush work into traditional art contests but I am almost certain it will piss some people off- bring it on! lol I'm not entering to win, just as a personal challenge to produce something to a standard I'm really happy to put on public display - as I mentioned before I'm very new to all this so it's all very exciting lol

Patsy, from Bundy
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Old 07-01-2007, 08:54 AM
airbrush_ken airbrush_ken is offline
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Re: airbrushing on canvas

Quote:
I am almost certain it will piss some people off- bring it on!
I have never had it happen in all my years...

I wouldn't mount my painted paper that way.. you should go the proper route and use mat board, plus non-reflective glass.

I also have some reservations about selling art work with paints that don't have any ASTM ratings, which Createx paint products do not. Their products are not made for fine art.

But it's your project and your money...lol..


Ken

Last edited by airbrush_ken : 07-01-2007 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 07-01-2007, 10:45 AM
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jumpforjoy61 jumpforjoy61 is offline
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Re: airbrushing on canvas

hi there are some good points being made here and though im not a fan of canvas for airbrushing mainly becouse of my style however it can give you a textured traditional look .i also dont get on with createx very well however thier auto air i find a lot better . i do motorclycle art so to practice i use powdercoated aluminium sheet [free from the fabricator next to my workshop]

im lazy so all that primeing canvas would just put me off i love to get stuck in to the job so scotchbriteing a sheet of aluminium suits me fine and it can be framed to look like a traditional canvas

i do apreciate other mediums its just all the hard work, have to agree with ken there are far better paints for fine art than createx [i believe it is mainly for fabric work as it can be heat fixed]
comart golded to name but two rgds and keep up your art maybe the pretencious fools who dismiss airbrushing as a valid paint form will be shown how wrong they are by the pure quality of a lot of it rgds paul

arts art wether you do it with an airbrush or a yard broom

Last edited by jumpforjoy61 : 07-01-2007 at 11:23 AM.
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