Canvas: Blank canvas - starting and finishing a painting

The way one paints on a canvas is a lot like makeup. Prime, layer the colours light to dark, create dimension and texture. A canvas, in a way, is really the perfect surface for any artist. You can buy them in every form conceivable finish, black or white, with different grains, pre-stretched or stretched. Artists have used everything from the traditional oils to even watercolours in some cases! It is truly such a versatile material. From Robert Rauschenberg and his 3D paintings, to Krishen Khanna’s incredible combination of oils and charcoal, creating massive depictions of the India-Pakistan partition, the canvas has been the centre of so many defining art history moments throughout the ages.

Think of your canvas like a building. If the foundation isn’t of the best quality, it can affect everything else. That’s why using canvases such as Art Essential’s superior quality canvases is important. The thickness of the canvas is 330 gsm and made from polycotton fabric. 75% of the canvas is cotton, which automatically means that the canvas is made from mostly natural materials, allowing the paint to sit better and last longer. Canvases like this allow mediums such as oil, acrylic and tempura to perform to the best of their abilities. The weight can also allow for otherwise strenuous or heavier mixed media to adhere and stay put.

The texture of the canvas is a medium texture surface. This is really like having the best of both worlds. Painting tools like knives can glide seamlessly on this surface. The heavier textures that some brushes and knives allow for can perform to the best of their abilities, allowing your skills and their quality to shine.

If larger canvases aren’t your thing, canvas pads are here for you! They come primed, so no need to waste a lot of time priming your canvas! At 18 x 24 inches to a much smaller A4 (8.26 x 11.69 inches) for watercolours, you have your pick of a wide variety of sizes and finishes.

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Canvases can make or break a painting. It is the base of a great piece of art. So, choose your canvas carefully. What do you need? What kind of painting do you want to make? How heavy will your paint be? But most importantly, what do you feel happy painting on? Go forth and create!

PS: Pro canvas tip- when stretching your own canvas, think about the wood you use for the frame. Plywood may be cheap but other woods will stand the test of time and are less prone to rotting.