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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Wellington, New Zealand
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Tips regarding oils, canvas, and the like

    Well, new here, so I'll just dive in. No doubt this is already around here somewhere, but I couldn't find what I was wanting.

    Basically, I've decided to try my hand at some *cough* serious painting. Not long ago I started using oils (W&N Artisan), which I love, aside from the drying at a glacial pace; and now I want to try them on canvas.

    What I'm wondering, is there any particular way to go about it?

    Gesso? How to? Pre-Gesso-ed? (He says, pretending to know exactly what he means) Also, brush sizes? (meaning, which ones can't one live without?)
    And if you don't mind, any small (obivious) things I should be aware of? Like, how close to the edge do you paint? Around the corners?

    And, of course, what to do to get them into a saleable condition. *ahem*

    Or, direct me to a thread I missed.

    Anything you can offer will be much appreciated. Thanks.
    Last edited by madster; September 17th, 2005 at 02:22 PM. Reason: Clarifying thread title

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    On the fringes of "acceptable" observation and commentary.
    Thanked 136 Times in 60 Posts
    No matter what you paint, always, but ALWAYS try to leave at least 1/2" of the border "smoothly painted" (I run my painting to the edge, but adjust subject matter and paint thickness...), so that you have enough room to easily frame it, should you decide it is worthy of the process.

    ALWAYS clean your brushes very well, and do so in a well ventilated area (even with low-odor turps).

    Do your homework. Have a sketch of what you are going to do before you start. You can always deviate from it, but it WILL help "keep you on track..."

    HAVE FUN with it!!! Step back from it every few minutes. Try making some strokes with your arm fully extended to really see the effect you are making.
    Don't worry about it being "good," "well done," or even "not worth burning." The idea is for you to get familiar with the medium, the techniques, and the workflow.


    Change is Inevitable, Growth is Optional
    I am The Choosen One!
    Jason sez: Draw more from Life!

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Thanked 225 Times in 153 Posts
    To prepare your canvas for oil painting, it should be sized and primed. The reason for sizing is to seal the surface. The reason for priming is to give the paint an absorbant surface to stick to. The traditional method of sizing is with a hide glue, and priming is done with an oil based primer. Painting on unsized surfaces (paper or raw canvas) will cause the acid in the oils to eat into the surface over time. It's possible to find pre-primed canvas in rolls, or mounted on acid-free boards. If you're reasonably certain of the quality of these items, go ahead and use them, or make your own.

    Acrylic polymer "gesso" is sold as safe for both oil or acrylic. There's some debate on that since they haven't been around for long enough to abolutely prove it, but the choice is yours. The advantage is that the polymer emulsion serves as both a size and primer. Using hide glue and gesso the old way requires a long time to cure.

    This site is a good informative place to start with:

    This page tells how to strech your own canvas:

    There's no "rule" that says all paintings must be framed. Many artists don't, and many galleries don't require it, but an unpainted border looks unfinished. It's up to you.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Im Rachel...Just joined this forum out of my interest in concept forums.

    I like to say hi to all of ya n would like to give a small intro abt me.. just a high school browsing the net...i do chat all the time.(in the forums usually)

    so thought to register in this wonderful interesting forum talking much abt ma interests

    ok can i know all of ya

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    denver colo
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    what would be a good-quality oil paint to start out on, if one has never used oils before?

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