Choosing the right artist canvas

Choosing the right artist canvas.

Whether you are stretching your own canvas or using stretched canvases, there are many types of canvas fabrics to choose from. The characteristics you require of your surface will determine which you choose. The weight of the fabric, the material it is made from and the surface preparation are all important considerations.  Using these in different combinations will each give a different painting experience and will affect the final appearance of your painting.

At The Canvas Company we stock a good variety of canvas that should cover most artists’ needs. You can get a huge range of sizes and surface characteristics for our imported canvases. Or you could add a final coating to it to customise your surface. If you wish to stretch your own canvas we have 10 variations of canvas by the metre or by the 10-metre roll.

In addition to choosing the fibre type you also need to consider the weight and the texture of the weave. Similarly to paper, canvas is measured in grams per square meter (gsm) or ounces per square yard (oz). If the canvas has a heavy weight then one or both of the following is true: it is a thick, tough yarn and/or it is tightly woven. Lightweight canvases have an open weave and generally a fine yarn, they are easier to stretch and are more responsive to tightening procedures. The lighter weight canvases are usually used by artists who draw and/or have a light touch in their work, but even some impasto painters can use them as their paint skims over the air holes.

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