Acrylic Painting: Everything You Need to Know About Canvas Bases
Getting into the world of acrylic painting means first acquiring the needed supplies, starting with the base: the canvas. It started out as a boat sailcloth made from hemp in the time of the Renaissance and quickly became the preferred affordable substitute for heavy and expensive boards.
Types of Canvas
Nowadays, it’s available in all forms and sizes, and the difference is that it’s made from either cotton or linen – both of which are also natural fibres. The cotton canvas for acrylic painting is also known as cotton duck because of the Dutch word doek for cloth. It’s mainly available in options that differ in the weave which results in differences in the weight.
As a beginner, you may not think of these two to be too important but have in mind they matter when it comes to how smooth and sturdy the canvas is. The tighter the weaving, and the higher the weight, the smoother and sturdier the design.
The linen version is made from the fibres of the plant which are known for their natural oils. It’s these properties that make this type naturally resistant to mould and mildew. This is great for the lifespan of your paintings but remember that this advantage comes with a higher price tag.
Much like the cotton counterpart, it’s available in a range of weaves and weights, with the smoother option being more suitable for delicate paintings with lots of details, whereas the rougher alternative is fit for paintings with lots of textures.
Styles of Canvas
In addition to the types, you can also find a canvas for acrylic painting in different styles as mentioned:
Perhaps the most common style, it’s the canvas wrapped around stretcher bars and then stapled on the back. Thanks to this, there’s no need to hang it on a wall with a frame which is perfect if you plan on decorating your home with canvas art prints and the like. It’s available in various sizes as well as weights, and typically comes pre-primed which is great for the longevity of your paintings. Although as such it’s ready for painting, you can additionally prime it yourself if you feel the need.
Unstretched Canvas Rolls
In case you prefer having the style of acrylic pouring canvas that allows you to easily customise it as you see fit, or transport it with minimal hassle, then the loose model is ideal. It comes without a wooden frame, making it a piece of cake to roll. Despite it being the cheapest and most convenient option, you still have to stretch it and glue it to the stretcher bars to be able to paint. As a beginner, you may be lacking the technique which takes some skill and practice.
If you’d like to buy a canvas that would enable you to practice a variety of painting techniques, like pour painting, then the pads will serve you well. In addition to acrylics, you can use multiple mediums for your drawings and paintings, including oil sticks, pastels, as well as oil paints. The pads are lightweight and available in varying sizes.
Also known as canvas boards, these are made from cardboard or wood to which the cloth is attached. Easy to transport, use, and store, even easier than the pre-stretched one, you’d still need to do one chore with them – that of framing them before hanging the paintings. Another one of their benefits is that they’re more affordable, some even more than others, with examples like cheap and lightweight muslin, calico, scrim, and hessian.
How to Choose Your Ideal Canvas?
It all depends on the type of project you intend to work on, as well as whether you’re a beginner or a pro. If you’re just starting out with the hobby, then you don’t have to splurge on the most expensive supplies in the art store. Buying something more affordable, yet of considerable quality (e.g. primed and smooth canvas for acrylic painting), should do as you see whether the hobby is to your liking.
The layers of priming are important too – the more, the better. In the long run, this will prolong the colours and quality of your painting, though you can do some priming yourself. Unless you know how to, this means you’d have to spend some more time acquiring the skill than doing the actual painting.
The quality of the canvas itself, and that of the stretcher bars, also have a say, however, if you are buying online this may take more research than merely checking them. Read reviews about the sites, and if you don’t have enough info, ask the people who run the website or store all your questions concerning the products.
Once you find what you’re looking for, and you are serious about the hobby, it’s always best to have more of this art supply at home so you’re ready to do some painting when your creativity strikes!