Every artist needs a surface for their art. For painters, one of the most popular surfaces to support their work is an artist’s canvas but with many on the market, it’s hard to know which canvas to pick. The type of canvas that you decide to purchase will depend on your comfort with it, your budget, the type of artwork you’re creating, as well as your familiarity with the surface. Canvases come in all shapes and sizes, including cotton duck, canvas rolls and even linen, but before you put your paintbrush to work, consider asking yourself the following questions:
How much am I willing to spend?
Although linen canvas rolls are a superior painting surface, they’re also expensive. With their narrower threads and tighter weave, once primed they are unlikely to shrink, stretch or distort but if they’re too pricey, sometimes the best option is to simply go with a cotton duck canvas. Despite the name, they’re not made of ducks! The less expensive version is loosely woven and the fabric can distort if stretched too far – remedy with gesso! Although it is a lower price, you will still be using a timeless painting surface. So really, it’s up to your budget and the result you’re after.
Is the canvas made for the type of art that I’m creating?
Did you know that there are different types of canvases for different types of painting? In fact, there is even a specialty canvas for watercolour painting! It will be unlike painting on paper with watercolours. On canvas, the watercolours stay wet longer and you’re free to paint with a coarser brush without damaging the surface.
Will I stretch the canvas myself?
Many artists purchase custom stretched canvases (or prestretched canvases), while some choose to use strong canvas stretcher bars to stretch their own. There are advantages either way. You’ll get the exact size and shape by stretching it yourself; something you’ll rarely find with a prestretched canvas, but it’s easier to buy it as is and it’s also a lot easier to buy ready-made frames for your canvas that way.
Whether you’re starting out, it’s a regular hobby or you’re a seasoned artist, there are many things to consider beyond the artwork: the surface, the preparation and the display of the work, as well as how long the painting will last on different surfaces. Every artist must take the time to consider the right tools and foundations for their art because everyone will be happy that way. If you’re looking for a place that offers many of the options above, shop online at The Sydney Canvas Company and discover the right canvas for you: https://thesydneycanvascompany.com.au/.