I got materials and supplies today, mostly canvases, gesso, paint medium and paint.

The idea is to create several large paintings, but before I can start on it, I need to prime the canvasses with acrylic gesso. A couple of reasons for these:

  1. When I hold a canvas up to light, sometimes I can see a pin-hole light shining through. This just means that the primer hasn’t completely covered the canvas at the manufacture. If I had painted with acrylic, this wouldn’t be too much of an issue; but I paint with oil. If there isn’t sufficient coverage on the canvas, the oil can steep in and weaken the fibre over a period of time. So it’s about making the canvas safe, not just for painting on, but for future enjoyment.
  2. Surface texture. I like working with canvases because it’s easy to transport and lightweight, especially when you work big. However, I find that the woven texture tend to distract me too much. I prefer the smoothness of an panel. To get the canvas as smooth as eggshell, not exactly too smooth, but just enough, I roll on the acrylic gesso with a microfibre roller. I then let it dry, then take a wet sanding block, and lightly sand it. Once it’s dried completely, I apply 2 more layers, repeating the same steps.

I started off with 4, plus some smaller canvases for testing and experimenting on techniques, colours and so on. While it’s a lot of work, it’s actually very meditative, so I can almost visualize what I will be putting on the surface.



We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.

Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil  a investi 153 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.

Published February 17, 2016

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