Canvas Priming-An Art in Itself

Canvas Priming

Just like every next level of your life demands a different version of you, likewise each piece of your artwork needs a unique canvas. Besides, bestselling subject, what makes an artist stand tall in the formidable modern art scenario is how he presents his paintings. And for this, the first thing to care about your canvas selection. Yes, you need to prepare your stretched canvas first as soon as your mind conceived a mind-blowing idea to be transferred onto the canvas.

Today, many painters prefer to buy already primed canvas and then there are a few who learns the art of priming their canvases in a custom-way. I personally admire using the latter option as it gives me complete and exclusive authority on my acrylic painting process.

Let’s Circumvent the Canvas Decay:

Priming not only brings charm to your canvas, but also adds life to it making it long lasting. Rarely, you will see a canvas not primed for oils and acrylics. Want to know the reason? Proper priming protects the canvas from deteriorating effects of the oil paints. While in case you are using acrylic paints, it provides good support and adherence.

Your canvas must be sealed and primed well for seamless crafting of your canvas painting; no matter what paints (oil, acrylic or alkyd) and brushes or knives you use.

Get Your Hands on the Best Suitable Primmer:

Before applying the ‘primer’ or say ‘painting ground’ onto the canvas, you have to decide on what type will work the best for you. You can use acrylic paint as a primer; simply scoop a little and apply on canvas using priming knife.

Well, the best suitable primer so far I have tried is that of coated with Gesso (Thinner similar to white acrylic paint helping stiffen the canvas surface). It seals and prime the canvas in a single process. For the best outcome, you might wait for 24 hours after the required number of applications, but the results would be worth waiting for.

Priming Steps to Follow:

Follow the steps below and get your ready-to-paint, picture-perfect canvas.

  1. Place the canvas on a flat surface, table or floor, in a way that you could easily reach all sides of it.
  2. Tight the canvas by applying special glue and seal the cloth’s nap if necessary. Let the glue dry.
  3. Take the ready-made gesso as it’s easy to apply and good for both acrylic and oil paintings and shake the bottle well so that it’s even before using.
  4. Take a stiff brush and apply gesso parallel to the length of your canvas.
  5. Spread the gesso as much even and thin as you can and cover the entire canvas with it.
  6. Allow the coat to dry well and then apply the second coat in the same direction.
  7. Again, let this coat to dry completely to touch.
  8. Sand down the canvas for smoother finish and remove the dust.
  9. Now apply the final coat and let it dry; no need to sand it.
  10. Leave it for 24 hours and it will be more solid to take paint better and sustain humidity fluctuations.

Tips to Remember for Optimal Results:

  • Do not forget shaking the gesso bottle before using.
  • Decide what number of gesso coats you need; one or more.
  • For one coat, apply the gesso directly from the bottle.
  • For more, dilute the gesso with equal amounts of acrylic gloss medium and water.
  • Apply all coats in the same direction and keep the strokes even for a better finish.
  • Instantly wash your brush after applying gesso; if dried on brush it won’t come out.

Acrylic gesso is popularly used for modern art paintings because of its easy application, harmless ingredients and providing smooth, slightly reflecting surface to paint.

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