Canvas is but one of the many materials used as a base
for art work and any art work on canvas is called Canvas
Canvas may be primed (whish it most often is – with
‘gesso’) or unprimed bare canvas (used this way by some
modern artists). In earlier times canvas was made of linen.
Cotton came as an optional material for its preparation only
in the early 20th century. Professional artists generally
prefer to use linen canvas as cotton stretches more and has
a mechanical weave. Cotton canvas however – being much
cheaper - becomes the material of choice for beginners and
intermediate level artists.
Canvas can be stretched our on wood or even cardboard.
Readymade cardboard mounted canvas is also available but
this doesn’t give the artist much choice of sizes and also
has larger amounts of acid which shortens its lifespan and
hence professionals prefer to prepare their own canvas.
Oil painting is most often done on canvas. The type of
canvas and the material used on it are hardly immaterial.
They make a conspicuous difference to the final product,
especially in terms of its texture.
Renaissance masters gave a great deal of attention
to the texture of their painting and it is everything but a
painless process to prevent the weave of the canvas from
showing up in one’s final artwork. It is also of importance
that the canvas is wrinkle free which is achieved with the
help of a hot iron.
A ‘picture perfect’ picture, devoid of brushstrokes and
peeping canvas is one of the decorative stars on a good
canvas artist’s shoulder.
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