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How to Choose the Right Canvas for Painting?

The quality of the future painting depends not only on the artist's skill set but also on the basis for painting. Where to buy canvas and what are the criteria for choosing them? Canvas for painting is a special art material. Its main characteristics, base, fabric, grain size, density, must meet a number of specific requirements.

As canvas for painting, artists use different fabrics: natural, synthetic, and mixed fibers.

Cotton has a smooth and soft surface with a fine texture. With a good stretch, such a canvas is easy to use, but over time, it can sag or warp (on the frame).

Linen is a very durable material, resistant to deformation. It retains its texture and shape the best of all, but costs more.

Another important characteristic of an artist's canvas to look out for when you decide to buy canvas is granularity (texture). This is the thickness of the thread from which the material is woven:

  • Fine-grained fabric (200-300 g / m2) - almost smooth surface; suitable for portraits, miniatures, and glaze technique;
  • Medium-grain canvas (300-400g / m2) - versatile option; suitable for most works of different formats, including diy projects, and aspiring painters;
  • Coarse-grained canvases (500-600 g / m2) - basis for large works painted with thick oil or acrylic paints or a palette knife.

Practical Tips When Choosing a Canvas for Painting

  1. When you need to buy artist canvas, be sure to check if there are any weaving defects on the canvas (knots, gaps, protruding threads, irregularities, etc.) that will interfere with gluing, priming, and paint application, and in the future destroy the paint layer.
  2. All sides of each canvas in the pack should be well primed. If there are gaps, the paint will fall off quickly. For landscapes, it is better to take a canvas in which the primer has a natural shade - beige, brown.
  3. For beginners, it is better to avoid coarse-grained canvases, since the gaps need to be sealed or primed additionally.
  4. If the canvas is on a stretcher, measure the width of the strip. For canvases with the largest side up to 50 cm, the width of each slat should be at least 4 cm. For larger sizes, the minimum slat width is at least 5.5 cm. For large canvases, cross slats (boards) are required.
  5. It is recommended that the stretcher be modular, the kit should include special pegs to adjust the canvas tension. If the canvas is stretched correctly, then on a flat horizontal surface it will lie tightly at all four corners. If it sways, then this means that it is skewed, it is better to refuse the purchase.