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I was just wondering what are the pros and cons and differences between acrylic primed canvas and lead white/oil primed canvas. Also why is absorbency beneficial or not beneficial.
Off the top of my head...
Oil primed Pros:
Surface is oil paint making it more compatible with your painting (better adhesion with chemcal AND mechanical bond)
Smoother surface is less destructive to brushes.
Can be applied over an acrylic ground.
Oil Primed Cons:
Takes weeks to several months to properly cure, the longer the better*
Usually costs more and can be harder to find pre-primed locally.
Thinning and cleaning requires turpentine solvent instead of just soap & water.
Requires pre-sizing the support first (acrylic ground can function as a size but needs more coats)
Alkyd primers cure quicker than linseed oil
Cheaper, dries fast*, easy to clean, some people (not me) say acrylic pre-primed is easier to stretch
Rough on brushes, not as compatible to oil paint (only mechanical bond,) can sometimes have areas of poor adhesion with oils (paint beads up)
*Note: although acrylic dries fast, it's recommended that you wait at least a week before you begin painting. Most people aren't aware of that and begin painting immediately.
If you buy it ready-made many of the problems go away (depending on how well it's done.) You're then left with the features of the surface itself.
Regarding absorbency, there's not much of a problem there with oil priming. If the acrylic ground is too porous it will expose the canvas to oil penetration. It's usually recommended to size the raw canvas first, then add a couple coats of primer (acrylic or oil.) A porous ground also sucks in the oil from the paint weakening the adhesion.
P.S. There's an oil AND acrylic primer on the market from Art Spectrum. It's a mix of linseed oil and acrylic resin that has benefits of both with less of the other issues. I've tested it out myself and it's not bad. Not as rough on brushes it seems as regular acrylic grounds, and washes out with soap and water. They say to only give it a day to begin painting, but I prefer to be safe and wait a week or so. It has a similar feel to alkyd grounds I've used. Lead oil grounds are generally regarded as ideal for hardness and feel.
Last edited by dbclemons; September 19th, 2009 at 09:17 AM. Reason: spelling