Newbie at canvas painting.

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mdcosta wrote
on 6 May 2013 12:59 AM

Hi there. I'm about to branch out into canvas painting and could really use all the help I can get. What's the exact simple procedure to follow before you start painting on it? I've gone through so many forums, v-logs etc., and quite frankly, i'm still confused as they all stress on different methods that seem too complicated. Also, once i'm done with my work, what's the painting ritual to be  followed? 

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Charlie Gunn wrote
on 6 May 2013 8:59 AM

Hi, I would say just do what I did, just get a canvas and paint on it and see what happens.  Have fun!!!

Charlie Gunn

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yaye2173 wrote
on 4 Jun 2013 7:57 PM

Depends a lot on the medium you are going to use(oil, acrylic, etc). I've used oils and acrylics on canvas and it's more of getting a feel of the medium than the canvas. Oils allow you to blend more because they stay wet for days while acrylics can dry in just a couple of minutes. I would recommend you just get a few inexpensive canvases and just paint to get a feel for it. Have fun with no pressure on creating a masterpiece and see how it feels.

 If you are stretching your own canvases, i agree that there is alot of information out there. When I've stretched my own i just throw on a couple of coats of acrylic gesso and have at it. I would say at least two but I have painted after just one coat and the world didn't end so that was good :). If you're on a budget, i found spreading the gesso on with something like a credit card allowed me to spread the gesso on quicker and easier since the card didn't suck up any of the gesso.

I never varnished any of my oil pieces for the same reason, everyone had a different procedure and said theirs was the only way. The colors did dull a bit but not incredibly bad. I would say with oils just wait a few months and put a thin coat of damar varnish on them. My acrylic pieces that i didn't treat when they were done still look fine but another artist friend of mine just sprays his with acrylic sealer. Don't know how archival that is but it might be a place to start investigating. Good luck.

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Eldridge2012 wrote
on 9 Dec 2013 1:36 AM

Im new as well but from what I understand and have been doing is to first prime the canvas with GESSO some ppl like black for depth but I prefer the white, after painting is complete seal/protect it with a product to keep the art from yellowing, dust,  or damage from moisture- you can use matte or gloss finish they also come in spray cans (i use, its easier and less messy)

basicly just buy cheepo canvas when its on sale and have fun till you feel comfy :)

"The Earth with our Art - is just EH"

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AimeeCJArts wrote
on 3 Jan 2014 12:45 AM

Hi there!  Good for you to start exploring painting--it's so much fun!  I recommend to my beginning art students to go with a stretched canvas that is already gessoed.  Keep it simple and don't worry about stretching and prepping your own canvas.  That's valuable if you're working very large or more professionally but there is so much available that is not costly. You can get these at any art/crafts store or I order online at and the Dick Blick brand offers good quality canvases and paint.  I work in acrylic on canvas and don't need to put any kind of finishing layer on my finished paintings.  I just occasionally dust them with a damp rag.  I personally like the quick drying acrylics that allow me to keep layering and working through a painting from start to finish in a relatively short amount of time.  I have a link to the materials I use for my paint and sip and guided painting video businesses at on the Get Started page that may help.  You'll also find a Painting Tips page here and know that I am offering one of my painting videos (Umbrella Drink) free for the month of January that you may enjoy checking out too!  All the best to you!



Aimee Rebmann

Owner & Artist of Creative Juices Arts 

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