Hello Everyone!  I hope this was a great Tuesday for you all!

Today I thought I would share information on canvases.  I am not an expert on canvas but I have used MANY, MANY canvases and want to share my experience.  Some people think the more you pay for a canvas the better product you receive… just like a lot of other things, this is not true.  An expensive canvas will not make your art work look better or make it worth more.

What to look for in a canvas is construction of the canvas; the stretched canvas itself, and how it is secured.  Is the staples on the edge of the canvas or is it stapled on the back?  Is there a few staples or many.  When you apply a little pressure on the canvas with your finger is there too much give?  (You want some give.) Are the corners wrapped tight and neat?  Most canvas come ready to paint – already covered with gesso but check and make sure, unless you don’t mind prepping the canvas.  So, let’s answer some of these questions:

I found it does not matter if the canvas is stapled on the edge or the back.. but it does matter if the corners are tight and neat, and that there are many staples.  The canvas should have some give, but not too much.  If you press your finger into the canvas and it stretches to much or worse yet, you make a whole in it… leave that brand alone.  But, a small indentation will come out once you paint on your canvas.  The wet paint when it dries will pull the canvas back into shape.

To paint in the Bob Ross method, you need a sturdy canvas with good nap.  What I mean by nap is the “texture” of the canvas.  You want a course canvas for the Bob Ross wet-on-wet technique.  Canvases are made for different applications – a portrait canvas will be smooth – in appearance and to the touch.  Make sure the canvas says for oil paintings if using oil paints, acrylic painting if using acrylic paints.  Most are interchangeable and can be used for both!

I use economy canvases – some are very good and others are not… just the same with expensive canvas.

Bobs’ canvases are made to wet stack – what that means, it was designed with a special ridge on the back that allows you to place a wet canvas on top of another wet canvas and it will be OK!  Just make sure you remove the plastic if you are stacking a new canvas on top!  Or you might be really upset!

Bob’s canvases are also gray in color.  This does not effect the quality of the painting or the look – the purpose behind the gray color is so you can see if you have applied the liquid white (the base of the painting) over the entire canvas.  That you didn’t miss any of the canvas.  I will talk later on how to check your canvas for liquid white coverage.  His canvases has lots of staples – good and tight and his corners are wrapped well.  Check out a Bob Ross canvas at a local store as an example as to what to look for in a canvas!

Sometimes, you just have to try a brand to see how it performs for you!

Canvas boards are not suitable for Bob Ross painting technique.  I will talk on canvas boards at another time.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with canvases to find what you like and what works for your budget!  If you buy a multi pack that is not good, don’t throw them out!  They are great for testing paints – for coverage or color, etc. – and for practicing a new technique until you are comfortable with it!  And, you can gesso over it and keep using it for practice saving you time and money!

Well, I hope this was helpful to you!  The most important thing is to just……………….. PAINT!  Have fun!


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