Read these 13 Art Canvas Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Art Supplies tips and hundreds of other topics.
When painting with an acrylic paint on a canvas you will want to treat the canvas with a substance known as Gesso. Gesso is actually a primer that you can use to get your canvas paint ready. Gesso will make your canvas a bit stiff and will ensure that the paint you are applying doesn't soak into the material. It also adds a bit of a texture to your canvas so that your paint stays on the canvas better than without it. You can apply Gesso with a sponge or a brush onto your canvas before painting.
Canvases can be purchased already primed. This saves the artist time on priming their own canvases before painting. A canvas may be a single primed canvas, which just means that the canvas has been coated over one time with a primer or Gesso. If you purchase a double primed canvas you should know that the canvas has been primed with two coats of primer or Gesso. A universal primed canvas is one that has been primed and you are able to paint with several different types of paints on it. Most primed canvases are harder to stretch.
Are you an artist? Do you travel quite regularly with your artwork and your supplies? If so, you may wish to purchase an artist sketch box. An artist sketch box is a box that you can take with you as you travel and in which you can pack your supplies, your brushes, your paints and your work. It may even have a travel easel that folds up and packs snug into the box for traveling.
Many artists choose to stretch their own canvases because it is much, much cheaper than purchasing a stretched canvas or having someone else do it for you. For stretching your own canvas you will need something called stretcher bars. You will need four stretcher bars to stretch your canvas. If you purchase two different sizes of bars you can make a shape other than a square for your canvas. You may also need the assistance of a friend with muscles to help you stretch the canvas if you don't have a lot of body strength. You can also make your own canvas stretchers. Look on the Internet for a how to on this project!
Many artists stretch their own canvases before painting. Not only does it save them a ton of money; it allows the artist freedom to stretch to the size they want. There are couple of things you want to remember when stretching your own canvas. First you want to figure out how large you want your stretched canvas to be in the end. This will determine how much weight the canvas you choose to use should have. After that you will need to use stretcher bars and build a frame to stretch your canvas around. Make sure you have your frame square, especially if you are going to frame your canvas after painting. Make sure you do not stretch your canvas too tightly, which can cause problems when painting on it. Stretching your own canvas is possible, it just requires a bit of work and knowledge. Many sites on the Internet can walk you through this process step by step.
Besides just knowing the type of canvas you are painting on you should probably know some other terms that go with using a canvas. This can help you in the long run. If you hear someone referring to working on duck, they probably mean cotton duck, which is the most popular form of canvas to work on today. If you hear someone discussing picking an art canvas it isn't quite like it sounds. Someone who picks an art canvas is actually picking off any little pieces of balled up canvas or spots that just take away from the beauty of the canvas are removed.
Linen and cotton are not your only canvas choices, however linen is a popular one. You can also choose from a canvas made of muslin or a canvas made of scrim. Muslin canvases are reasonable priced and not as expensive as other canvas choices. Scrim is also a choice for those wishing to save a bit of money on canvas purchases. Scrim is also a reasonably priced canvas that is made up of strong coarse cotton in a weave that is rectangular. Each of these types of canvas will be great alternatives for a more expensive canvas and should produce similar results when painted on.
Besides applying Gesso or primer onto your canvas to prepare it for painting, you may also need to stretch your canvas. If you don't purchase a pre-stretched canvas, you will need to stretch it yourself. If you purchase a pre-stretched canvas you won't need to stretch it. Regardless of which type of canvas you choose, you will need to treat it with a primer before painting after it is stretched. If you do not have your canvas treated or prepared correctly, your painting will not last as long and most likely will have damage done to it eventually.
When you have completed your work of art on a canvas you most likely will want to store it somewhere before you either sell it or use it for personal decorating. Whatever you choose to do, there is a great way to store your completed painting that may cost you a small amount of money now, but will be worth it in the future. It is a great investment to purchase a flat file drawer cabinet that you will be able to use as a storage place for your completed work. Make sure you have a lock put on it so that no one that isn't supposed to touch it is able to!
A watercolor canvas is actually just what it sounds like it would be: a canvas made for the use of painting on with watercolors. This special type of canvas is made with one hundred percent cotton that has a special coating on it which allows the paint that one is painting on the canvas to be absorbed better than any other types of canvas when used with watercolors.
So you have painted a masterpiece and you need to move it to another location. How in the world do painters get their freshly painted work safely from one location to another? It is actually simpler than one might think, thanks to the creation of a tool known as a wet canvas carrier. A wet canvas carrier actually two pieces of canvas that have been stretched and have handles. The canvas that may still be wet with paint is slid between the two dry canvases with handles and then transported to where it needs to go.
Most artists will choose a linen canvas over the other types of canvases on the market. What makes linen canvases so popular? Linen canvas is one of the strongest types of canvas available on the market. This means that a painting done on a linen canvas will last longer and be much more durable when compared to other types of canvas. Linen canvas will hold together over time much longer when compared to a canvas made of cotton and a linen canvas is available in all shapes and sizes for your painting fun!
Many artists who wish to save money often purchase a cheaper canvas that is made with a texture that imitates a real canvas or with a canvas that has actually been covered in laminate. These types of canvases are available at most art supply stores and are pretty easy to tote around with you as they are lighter than a typical canvas.