Oil Painting for Beginners - Canvas

The types of canvas we can use in Oil Painting

By far the easiest option for the beginner is a prepared stretched canvas or canvas board, which can be purchased from any art supplies shop. They are primed and ready to go. These canvas are now very affordable and come in a large selection of sizes. I suggest you do this.

If you wish to paint direct onto board because of the smooth surface . Your board will need to be primed with gesso primer. There are options in canvas types and levels of qualities.

Cotton duck: This is a natural fibre. Over time it will lose its strength. It is best if none of the finished surface is left untouched, as it will rot if left exposed to the air. The back of cotton stretches should be sealed with primer after the painting has cured.

Linen: Is slightly more durable. Its main disadvantage is swelling in humid weather and shrinks in the dry. This can and will crack solid oil pigments over time. Being a natural fibre it will break down over time.

Polyester canvas: Must be bought Loom State, which is before any chemical additives have been added. It is chemically inert and does not rot. It does not shrink or swell or creep when it is worked on.

Canvas that is pre-primed is an advantage, as you will not have to apply gesso primer. Raw canvas can be sealed using a binder membrane and then a good quality Artist Gesso primer. At least two layers of Gesso primer is a good option and will mean you can use less of the more expensive oil paints. Do not use cheap undercoat if you wish your paintings to last. This this will affect the paint because of the acid in these products. Use an acrylic Gesso primer such as Liqitex Acrylic Gesso Primer. Gesso can be purchased in 500ml quantities or even up to 2L containers.