All About CANVAS

There are so many kinds of surfaces you can paint on; Hardboard, stretched canvas, canvas board and so on. I commonly use stretched canvas.

I lived in a place where none of these were readily available. The market in that village was literally only 200 meters long and forget about even buying paints. So I had to buy canvas when I was on holiday. One of the best things in the army is that you usually know someone who is in a place where he/she can buy canvas and there is usually someone passing by your town. So that’s how I managed to get my shipment. Of course now there is online shopping but you will be charged for shipping especially if you are ordering large size canvas.

As I was just a beginner I didn’t want to spend much on canvas. So I bought stretched canvas which was locally made by a store. They made their own frames in bulk and the canvas that came in bulk was hand stretched and nailed (not stapled) by some locally employed people who of course didn’t know much about how it was to be done.

I got these canvases very cheap and then after I removed them from the packaging one by one I noticed that these were flawed. The grain of the canvas was not parallel to the frame.

A canvas has grains like any cloth. This has to be parallel to the frame.

Linen Canvas Coarse Vignette Crumpled Grunge Texture Sample

Instead I saw a few which were mounted diagonally.

butterflies

It is unsightly and I don’t recommend painting on it

I also feel stapling is more effective than nailing a canvas to the frame to stretch it.

 A canvas is primed with Gesso which was traditionally used to prepare or prime a surface so Oil paint would adhere to it. Gesso is the same as a primer. It is made from a combination of paint pigment, chalk and binder.

The priming done on these cheap canvas that I bought was very uneven and has air gaps which looked bad and eventually opened up. The corners were not neatly folded either.

So remember there are lot of things you need to check while buying canvas

You also get fine grain, medium grain and coarse grain canvas. Buy fine grain for realistic art or airbrushing especially if you’re planning on doing a lot of detailing.

typesofcanvases

Medium grain is versatile. I usually buy these so I don’t have to decide what to paint in advance

The coarse grain takes up lot of paint. It is great for heavy textured paintings and knife painting.

The stretcher bars on which the canvas is stretched also comes in different types. I buy the standard 1 inch thick ones. The thicker ones are better if you can afford it and great if you don’t plan on framing your painting

You also get side stapled and back stapled. There is a bit of a cost difference. I buy the back stapled because I prefer not framing my paintings.

Well well, that is definitely a lot of information on canvas. I bet there is a lot more but this is all that I’ve encountered so far. Happy shopping.

Watch out for some awesome art shopping options also including online art shopping destinations in the next blog post. Don’t forget to subscribe. you can find social media links below and also checkout my videos on YouTube.

Mixing Paints and Color Theory

One painting at a time, I got better with every new painting I made. I was so excited with my work. I decided to splurge. I went ahead and bought a whole bunch of oil paints. I was like a kid in a candy store. I went crazy and bought the 120 ml tubes of oil paints because I thought they were economical. Hmm, not such a good idea.

Well, given the way oil paints work, even a peanut size bit is enough to finish a small painting but in my excitement I bought a whole lot which I haven’t used. So, I’m going to help aspiring young artists with this problem. You can create different shades with just a few basic colors.

I had the idea of making a whole collection of underwater themed paintings so I bought a large tube of turquoise colored paint. Turns out I didn’t really need that much. Now I have a big tube of paint which I don’t use much and just so you now, you can mix Viridian Hue, Cobalt Blue and White to get Turquoise.

Here is what will make the learning process easier, Color Theory. Of course you can experiment and learn by mixing colors, but learning color theory makes the task easier and speeds up your learning process. I found some videos online which really helped me. You can also download a color wheel and print it and hang it on your wall where you paint which will help you with mixing colors.

Here is a picture of the color wheel.

color-wheel-300

The primary colors are Red, Yellow and Blue. There are three secondary colors, Green, Orange and Purple. You can create six tertiary colors by mixing primary and secondary colors.

You can divide the circle into warm and cool colors.

warm-cool

The painting below shows cool colors. You see that cool tones are soothing.

SD_Coralia

The painting below shows warm colors. You see that warm tones are vivid and energetic.

SD_ThunderheadWM

More things you should know are Tints, Shades and Tones.

Tints are created by adding white to a pure hue.

Tints

Shades are created by adding black to a pure hue.

Shades

Tones are created by adding gray to a pure hue.

Tones

Below you can see a painting that is only in gray scale, made using only black and white.

1q

I think that’s enough information to help you get started. Don’t go too much into the theory. This is just to help you mix colors. Use your judgment on what color goes well with what and you’ll create beautiful art.

If you have any questions, leave a comment below and I’ll answer them as best as I can. Don’t forget to subscribe. Have fun painting.