What Do I Need To Prepare Canvas

Whether you are an experienced artist or a novice exploring the world of art, you have probably encountered canvases. Canvases are a commonly used medium for painting thanks to their durability and versatility. However, it is crucial to properly prepare your canvas before you begin painting in order to improve the quality of your work. So, what exactly is required to prepare a canvas? Let’s take a closer look!

Materials You’ll Need

  1. Canvas: You can either buy a pre-stretched canvas or stretch it yourself using canvas cloth and wooden stretcher bars.
  2. Gesso: Gesso is a white paint mixture used to prepare the canvas. It creates a smooth surface and prevents paint from soaking into the canvas fibres.
  3. Brushes: It’s best to apply gesso with a wide, flat brush. Make sure the brush is clean and dry before use.
  4. Sandpaper: After applying the gesso, you’ll need fine-grit sandpaper to smooth out the canvas surface.
  5. Acrylic paint (Optional): If you wish, you can tint your gesso with acrylic paint to create a coloured ground.

Steps to Prepare Your Canvas

Follow these steps to prepare your canvas:

Step 1: If you’re using a raw canvas, start by stretching it over the stretcher bars. However, if you have a pre-stretched canvas, you can skip this step.

Step 2: Apply gesso to the canvas. Use the brush to apply an even layer of gesso in one direction. Allow it to dry before applying a second layer in the opposite direction. Repeat this process until you’ve applied 3-4 layers of gesso.

Step 3: Once the gesso is completely dry, use fine-grit sandpaper to smooth out the surface of the canvas. Make sure to wipe off the dust with a clean, damp cloth before you start painting.

(Optional) Step 4: If you want a coloured ground, you can tint your gesso with acrylic paint and apply it to the canvas. Again, let this dry completely before commencing with your painting.

And voila! Your canvas is now ready for your creative touch. Remember, a well-prepared canvas is the first step to creating a successful piece of art. Happy painting!