A&P does anyone here paint canvases?

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by jtl090179, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. jtl090179

    jtl090179 Oh I get it, yeah. He's the girl, then you're the OT Supporter

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    my wife and i would like to paint some canvases to hang in our bedroom. where do we start? what are those additives to the paint and what do they do? any help would be great.

    weve priced out canvases and paint, but have no idea what to do with the additives and what to do afterwards so the thing doesnt flake and break apart.

    anyone? or is this pretty much the photography forum now?
     
  2. Asherman

    Asherman New Member

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    It isn't rocket science. Relax, you can turn out respectable paintings if you have enough confidence to go forward.

    First, I'd suggest that you buy canvas already stretched and primed. These can be purchased at most local art supply houses, or on the Internet. One advantage of this approach is that stretched canvas will be delivered to you in standard sizes that makes framing easier and less expensive. Stretching your own canvas is tougher. Pre-cut stretcher bars are available, but why go to the extra effort and expense?

    Here are two other alternatives: Masonite is inexpensive, about $20 per sheet and each sheet is 4'X8'. This is much less than the cost per square of decent linen canvas. Cut the Masonite to fit standard frame sizes. I recommend that you keep the sizes under 36" on a side. This is for two reasons, first is the weight of larger pieces, and secondly, larger sizes are more likely to later warp. Before painting your pictures on Masonite, you need to apply a number of coats of gesso. Alternate layers of gesso brushing vertical and horizontal. On Masonite, or other solid panels, paint the gesso on the back as well as the front to equalize the stresses of shrinkage during the drying process. Lightly sand the surface between coats of gesso. The Masonite, or canvas, is called the "support" and the gesso primer is called the "ground". Even when you use pre-primed canvas, I strongly recommend at least two coats of gesso.

    The second alternative is to sew a pocket along the top and bottom edges of your unstretched canvas. A wooden slat will then provide a solid hanging edge at the top, and the bottom slat will hold the surface flat against the wall. Apply gesso as described above.

    Once your support and ground are completed, you are ready to make a picture. The two most common media are oil and acrylic paints. Oil paint pigments are typically thinned with turpentine and/or linseed oil. Acrylic pigments are water based. Jackson Pollack got great effects using common household enamel.

    As a first step using oil paint, I recommend thinning Sienna with turpentine and brushing it unevenly over the entire painting surface. This is to provide a middle tone for the painting. Some areas will be darker and other areas will be lighter in tone and intensity. You may want to lightly sketch your picture onto the canvas with a bit of charcoal. Use only one or two colors to begin building up the masses of the picture. Once you are satisfied that you have structured the picture the way you want it to look, you can begin to add more color.

    Dark areas in sharp focus appear close, and light, pastel areas with soft focus appear far away. Shadows are a darker version of the color of the field they fall on, and tend to work best with cool colors like blue, violet, etc. There are many techniques, and a good painter will pick and choose the technique most appropriate to capturing their individual vision for each picture.

    If you have questions, just ask.
     
  3. :|

    :| Guest

    I never used additives though I probably should've at least used that quick drying stuff
     
  4. Asherman

    Asherman New Member

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    You are probably referring to Liquin, though there are other things one can use to speed drying. Actually, the "slow" drying time of oil paint is an asset. Painting shouldn't be a paint by numbers laying down of flat paint. Paint does get mixed on the palette, but the real work comes after its laid onto the painting surface. We mix light into dark, and one color into its neighbor to create interest and illusion. One of the great things we learned from the impressionists was to banish black in favor of the richer blending of dark blues and reds. Grey isn't black diluted with a lot of white, but a mixture of colors that can be tilted one way or another to obtain very different effects. If the paint surface dries too fast, the painter is deprived of a very valuable technique. If you want fast drying, then acrylic may be the medium you should be working with.

    Here is a great Internet site with lots of information for artists:

    http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/index.php
     
  5. Hippy

    Hippy New Member

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    having a good understand of light is really important for painting canvas.

    if u want to go cheaper i often paint peoples doors, plywood, metal surfaces, etc. Stuff i can get for free.

    I like to paint with spraypaint mostly (using my own custom colors) or with oil based paint.
     
  6. jtl090179

    jtl090179 Oh I get it, yeah. He's the girl, then you're the OT Supporter

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    nice, so im guessing oil paints are the way to go here. i assumed that acrylic paint was what i was looking for
     
  7. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    My mother paints on canvas. Her site is www.talbotfineartandportraits.com. I think she's got some stuff on there about what it takes to make canvas work. If she doesn't, she can certainly add it.
     
  8. Asherman

    Asherman New Member

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    Either medium can work for you.

    Acrylic is a fast drying water media. Just like watercolor, the colors can go flat and muddy pretty easily. On the upside, acrylics don't smell and they are much easier to clean up after. folks who use acrylics often swear by them.

    Oils dry more slowly, and the chemicals used have a distinctive smell. Many feel that cleaning oil brushes, etc. is a hassle. Oil colors tend to retain their intensity better and making corrections is probably easier. I was trained using oils and have been using them more or less continuously for 45 years, so I'm prejudiced in favor of oils.

    What is it you intend to paint more specifically? What is the highest priority in this project? Do you intend to continue painting, or is this probably a one-time shot? What art background do you have?
     

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