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Art Canvases

Pulling out some paints and diving into a creative endeavor starts with a blank art canvas. Whether you are painting a landscape of your favorite view or you are an artist completing a portrait commission, a smooth surface provides the foundation for a finished work.

What canvas sizes are available?

While it is also possible to order fabric sized to fit your specifications, most paintings can fit well on standard sizes and fit seamlessly into in-stock frames. Some of the most common sizes include:

  • 16 by 20 inches
  • 11 by 14 inches
  • 20 by 30 inches
  • 22 by 32 inches
  • 8 by 10 inches
Is all canvas pre-stretched?

Art canvases come in a variety of styles from pre-stretched to on the roll. Rolls allow an artist to create custom sizes, while pre-stretched are usually standardized for easy framing. To avoid issues with rabbet depth, panels of fabric are glued to a firm backing, creating a thin finished product that will fit into virtually any frame, cutting down on the post-painting work for an artist.

Does the medium matter?

The finishing elements on a canvas can change how well it will absorb different types of paint. Painter's canvases typically come in three different styles.

  • Oil paint: Designed for use with oil paints, these canvases have a titanium white finish with a zinc white primer. This prepares the canvas to accept oil paint smoothly and without cracking.
  • Absorbent fabric: Created using primer layers of chalk, this type of canvas is good for use with watercolor paints. It can absorb more water, though it may also take a bit of time to dry.
  • Universal fabric: This type of blank slate can be used with any type of paint.
What materials are used in the construction?

An art canvas can be made from cotton, linen, or a synthetic blend. All of these options provide a smooth painting surface, but thread weight and weave can affect the finished product. Here is a quick comparison.

  • Cotton duck: This material is the most commonly used and features a shorter thread length and more elastic weave. This makes it easy to stretch for a smooth painting surface.
  • Linen: The long and strong threads in linen give it durability and natural resistance to mold and mildew.
  • Synthetic blends: The addition of synthetics can create a cotton blend that has more durability and less stretch, though it is important to check for quality.
Do some fabrics work better for printing?

Print on canvas is a good way to display photographs or digital art. However, not all canvases will run smoothly through a printer. Before making a selection, check that it is specifically labeled for print use. You can find UV-resistant options or gloss finishes.

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