What canvas for beginners?
I have been pencil sketching for a while now and I am starting to produce some good pieces and I am considering taking the pencil drawings, putting them on canvas and having a go a painting them.
I have been drawing a lot of portraits but I don't know where to start with these yet. So I thought I would draw some flowers and tropical plants. I have seen some Daler Rowney canvasses on the cheap and wondered if these would be suitable for a beginner?
I am not thinking of hanging the paintings, but I do fancy having a go on a proper canvas and not in a flip pad, so I can see what they look like.
Can anyone give me any advice or tips?
04-03-2016 11:52 PM
A stretched box canvas would be best, painted first with a pure white primer.
Linen is the most costly of them all. Many professionals mention that their plein air paintings are done on this surface. This gives the impression they can afford it and are successful so you will often see the title of the painting plus “on linen” specified under their paintings. I admit, linen is more cooperative than cotton as a painting surface. But I don’t feel it’s worth the additional cost unless you are being paid for that painting or know you will sell it. The collector will feel more proud of the acquisition knowing you used the top materials. Duration isn’t a reason to justify favoring either cotton or linen because both use the same primers. Some artists complain that the weave of a cotton canvas is too mechanical, whereas with linen it is more random. Also worth noting is that many top landscape artists resort to dry brushing; linen lends itself nicely to these effects because some areas of the weave bulge more.
- A flat, smooth non-textured gesso. This is suitable for fine detail such as wild life and portraits. Apply three coats and do not water down.
- A mildly textured surface. Gesso with Liquitex Super Heavy Gesso using a fine fabric roller. Do not water down. This will leave some pointed protrusions and will work well for dry brushing, which is a technique I often use to indicate foliage and grass in landscape paintings. Give a sanding after each coat so the protrusions aren’t too predominant. Apply only two coats. I find these prepared panels to work the best for small sizes.
- Heavy textured surface. This is an excellent option to show convincing landscape texture. You can save a lot of money on paint as well. I would use this for painting larger than 16×20 inches. The rule of thumb is small panels should not take on heavy texture for simplicity; increase the texture as the size get larger. Do your general landscape drawing on a first layer of Liquitex Super Heavy gesso done in a smooth application. Apply a second coat straight out of the container in the same manner and paint your shapes by applying heavy loads on your brush.
Hope it helps..!