While I love the convenience of purchasing stretched canvases, I’m often not too fond of the texture. Some require a layer of gesso, or even two. Or three! I’ve purchased and tried many many stretched canvases in my almost two years of painting and I’ve come to really like the smooth and yet not too smooth surface and price of Jerrysartarama’s Practica canvases.
They work particularly well for plein air painting. I take them out of the box, toss them in my car and off we go. No gessoing. And to keep the sun from shining through my canvas, I put a same-size panel behind it. I also like that it doesn’t suck the life out of my paint. The colors pretty much keep their freshness. They aslo smell somewhat nice which is always a bonus.
The only thing is, I guess I don’t particularly like the bounce of canvases in general.
I could paint on an unstretched canvas on a board and stretch the canvas afterwards but I’d have to wait weeks or months for the paint to dry before I could do that and that takes too long for me. Also, even with canvas pliers, I don’t seem to have what it takes to stretch the canvas properly.
Or I could just glue the canvas to the board. If I could find a roll of canvas I liked enough.
I’ve used quite a few different kinds of those too. I love Ampersand boards and I thought I’d use them all the time if I had money coming out the wazoo.
(Look, this one is cradled, fancyyy):
But then, a few weeks ago, a friend gave me 2 4-packs of Panelli panels. 1 pack of 8x10s and 1 pack of 9x12s. The ‘Telati’ panels to be precise.
Boy oh boy do I love those! They’re a little less smooth than the Practica canvases and the Ampersand boards,
but now I realize that this is the surface I’ve been looking for all along! (That may change in a couple of months, you know how it goes) And I love how they accept the paint. I’m looking at some plein air paintings I did on our trip to Maine and now, two weeks later, the colors are still fresh as if applied yesterday! Wait, could it be that they’ve magically become even more beautiful?
One downside is that when I’m not careful the edges get easily dinged up because it’s not really hardboard but some type of hard cardboard.
Another downside of Telati panels is dat the biggest size available is 18×24. Some paintings just require bigger or odd sized supports.
For instance, I’d like to make a 5 feet wide painting which I can’t buy from Panelli and ordering a stretched canvas that size online is simply unaffordable.
I could make my own odd or big size stretched canvases using a roll of canvas, stapler, canvas pliers and stretcher bars that come in any size. But again, haven’t found a roll of canvas I like enough.
So, it might be a good idea to make my own custom size Panelli Telati type panels.
To make these I will have to:
-get masonite sheets (8×4 ft at Lowes)
-cut the sheets to size using the terrifying table saw or have my husband do it
-clean up all the saw dust
-get 1×2’s and gorilla glue to make a cradle if I want to make a big painting, and I do.
-cut the 1×2’s to size and right angle and actually make the cradle (using that terrifying table saw again)
-probably buy wood filler too.
-buy muslin or cotton
-get acrylic medium to glue the fabric to the panel and allow to dry
-trim the edges
And I’m thinking of applying a thin layer of shellac to prevent the gesso from absorbing paint.
I’d really much rather paint then spend time in the garage making my own panels but I’m going to try it.
As I’m typing this, I have everything I need except for the fabric. I’ll probably get three different fabrics at Walmart and try them on smaller boards first.
So, to answer my own opening question, I guess I like canvas ON board. Why choose?:-).