Do It Yourself — Building Your Own Stretcher Bar Frames

In the first article of this series, Creating Your Own Stretched Canvases, I introduced you to a video overview of the process by fine artist Steve Henderson, who has been creating and building his own stretched canvases for years, with a strong eye on quality and craftsmanship.

Oil Paintings are created to last, and no matter how timeless the image and how superior the quality of paint used, if the structure upon which the canvas is wrapped falls apart, then the painting itself is compromised. Evening Waltz, original oil painting, 30 x 36 by Steve Henderson.
Oil Paintings are created to last, and no matter how timeless the image
and how superior the quality of paint used, if the structure upon which the
canvas is wrapped falls apart, then the painting itself is compromised.
Evening Waltz
, original oil painting, 30 x 36 by Steve Henderson. 

The "bones" of the oil painting's canvas, as Steve sees it, are the stretcher bars, and the supporting frame made from them. How straight and true the final work stays depends upon the time and care taken at this point, in addition to the quality of the materials used.

As with any Do It Yourself endeavor, building your own stretcher bar frames is a learning process, and the first time you do it, you may very well wonder if and when there will be a second time — because it all takes so long. But the more you do something, the better, and faster, you get, and after awhile, you may find yourself like Steve, who considers building the stretcher bar frame, wrapping the canvas around it, and sizing and priming the canvas, all part of creating a fine art oil painting.

Stretcher Bars: Keeping the "Bones" True and Square is a step by step video of the process of building your own stretcher bar frame. You may see all of Steve's art videos at his You Tube channel, Steve Henderson Fine Art, or access them on the Free Videos section of his website, Steve Henderson Fine Art.

–Carolyn

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