A key aspect of painting is the support surface selected for the medium, referred to as the support. Acrylic paints possess great versatility and can be utilized on various surfaces. Yet, the canvas, a traditional and widespread choice, is considered the optimal support for acrylic paint.
Why is Canvas the best for Acrylic Paint?
There are several reasons why canvas makes the best surface for acrylic paints:
- Durability: Canvas is tough and durable, making it able to withstand the weight of acrylic paint.
- Texture: Canvas has a textured surface that grabs onto the acrylic paint well.
- Flexibility: Canvas is flexible, which makes it less likely to crack compared to other surfaces.
Types of Canvas for Acrylic Paint
There are several types of canvas materials available in the market, each with their distinct qualities. They include:
- Cotton Canvas: This is the most common type of canvas. It’s flexible, economical, and ideal for beginners.
- Linen Canvas: This canvas is excellent for advanced artists. It’s durable, has a smooth texture, and does not stretch as much as cotton.
- Canvas Board: This is a canvas stretched and adhered to a cardboard backing. It is rigid and does not sag.
- Canvas Pads: These are sheets of canvas bound in a pad – ideal for practicing or quick studies.
Preparing Canvas for Acrylic Paints
Regardless of the type of canvas you choose, it’s essential to prepare it properly. This usually involves applying a primer or gesso to make it less absorbent and give it a smoother surface. Here’s a simple process:
- Apply Gesso: Use a wide, flat brush to apply the gesso. Allow each layer to dry before applying the next.
- Sand the Surface: After the gesso is dry, lightly sand the canvas for a smooth surface.
- Clean the Canvas: Use a damp cloth to wipe off any dust from the sanding.
Choosing the right canvas and preparing it properly can make a significant difference in your acrylic painting. While the choice ultimately depends on your personal preference and painting style, the canvas, with its versatility and durability, often proves to be the best support for acrylic paints.