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Old 11-20-2010, 11:46 AM
Chip Reuben Chip Reuben is offline
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stretched vs. mounted canvas

After doing a few oil on canvas pieces on some mounted canvas (canvas glued to plywood, treated with carpenters glue, then gesso coated several times), I've decided to again try stretched canvas.

Why is stretched canvas in such common use? The only thing I could see anybody really like about stretched vs. mounted is the bounciness and perhaps the lighter weight and reduced expense. Beyond that I would think canvas mounted to board would be preferable. It is more stabilized that way--doesn't dent, you can trace on it without messing it up at the edges etc etc. And personally, I prefer to not have the bounciness because I want the surface to stay where it is when I come at it with the brush.

So what's the popularity with stretched canvas? I'm pretty much starting to think I hate it.
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Old 11-20-2010, 02:03 PM
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Use Her Name Use Her Name is offline
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Re: stretched vs. mounted canvas

I don't know the history of the stretched canvas. It was probably due to weight factors of large pieces of boards, as well as the ability to transport rolled up paintings, which is again a weight issue. Wood is fine to use. People mount canvas to wood all the time. I'd say do whatever you like .
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Old 11-22-2010, 01:56 PM
Chip Reuben Chip Reuben is offline
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Re: stretched vs. mounted canvas

Good point...I guess if you were going to ship overseas, it would be much better to be able to roll it up. That makes me wonder if it is ok to paint on stretched canvas, and then take it off the framing and roll it up. I'm wondering if it would crack after releasing the tension of the canvas, but I suppose that depends on the materials used. Also it makes me realize that putting a layer of glue on the back of stretched canvas to seal (to prevent the whole "pinhole" problem that has been discussed here on WC) might cause problems where the glue would bond the canvas to the wood frame at the edges.
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Old 11-22-2010, 05:23 PM
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DaveMak DaveMak is offline
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Re: stretched vs. mounted canvas

It is fine to remove a canvas from the stretchers and roll it for shipping, but it should be rolled with the painted surface out to reduce the stress on the painting and not rolled too tightly.
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Old 01-16-2011, 08:56 PM
TGRANT TGRANT is offline
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Re: stretched vs. mounted canvas

I think it’s a matter of personal style more than anything else. I have tried a number of ‘panel’ supports but always end up back with canvas. Since I make my stretchers from scratch and prepare the canvas myself, it’s also the cheapest for me. I love the bounce I can only get from canvas, and I prefer the texture of the weave.
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Old 05-15-2011, 11:07 PM
Khan_onthecomp Khan_onthecomp is offline
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Re: stretched vs. mounted canvas

I think i can tell you exactly why canvas is/was stretched and not just glued to a wood support... the reason is because when canvas became a popular ground there was no such thing as plywood. If you glue canvas to a normal wooden panel..not plywood..but one that is glued up from individual boards the wood is going to expand and contact across the grain with the seasons of the year. The canvas is going to hold one side of the panel while the other side expands ... result will be warping... bad warping! Its the same reason doors are built with the "frame and panel" method. The panel can expand and contract while the frame stays the same size to fit. Plywood doesnt expand and contract because of the the laminated construction so no harm is done by glueing a canvas to one side. But a frame is still more dimensionally stable.

Khan
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Old 05-16-2011, 01:36 PM
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Re: stretched vs. mounted canvas

I don't believe that the move away from mounted to stretched canvas had anything to do with wood's stability or tendency to warp. Stretchers are no less likely to flex and warp; they are in fact made from wood. In fact, stretchers are designed to be adjusted using keys to allow adjusting the tension of the stretched surface to compensate for any flexing.

In actuality, any panel, plywood or not, if prepared properly, is much more stable than stretchers.

As I understand it, the primary benefit of stretching is reduced weight. I personally don't like the bounciness of stretched canvas or the canvas texture. However, I like the fact that a large stretched canvas is very light. It's much easier to hang, store and ship than a similarly sized canvas panel.

When I work small, I prefer canvas mounted on birch plywood. I really like the solidity of the surface.

So, stretched canvas makes large works on canvas much more practical.
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Old 05-17-2011, 03:41 PM
Khan_onthecomp Khan_onthecomp is offline
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Re: stretched vs. mounted canvas

Steve, I have been a woodworking teacher for 21 years... i believe i know what im talking about on this.
The point is... when you glue up a panel of wood boards... you cant do anything to one side of the panel that you dont do to the other side... like glueing on canvas. If you do that side will expand an contract at a different rate than the other side. Thus the panel will warp! Yes the stretchers are made from wood ...but wood only expands ACROSS THE GRAIN. Not in the long dimension ... so you dont get notable movement across a 3 or 4 inch piece like you do on a 12 or 30 inch piece of wood. Again its the same reason they make "frame and panel" doors... so they wont expand and contract... warp... stick... all the problems doors can have if they are built wrong. Believe me in all the years of teaching woods this is one of the hardest concepts to get across to someone not familiar with wood properties.. so...
if you choose not to agree thats fine.
Khan

Last edited by Einion : 05-18-2011 at 03:20 AM. Reason: Removed unwelcome commentary
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Old 05-17-2011, 03:45 PM
Khan_onthecomp Khan_onthecomp is offline
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Re: stretched vs. mounted canvas

OOh yea ... and the keys included with a stretched canvas are NOT to compensate for the stretchers flexing...... no they are for tightening the canvas when it gets loose from IT getting saggy over time. Just like any fabric stretches so will canvas.
you tighten it with the keys ..
Khan
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