Preparing Canvases

I prepare my own canvases; the top left picture shows the stretcher bars and my first four assembled. I cut my 12oz cotton duck to size with a good fold over on each size, then I start with a staple in the mid bar on one side. I turn the whole through 180 deg. stretch the canvas and then staple in the middle of the opposite side, I then turn through 90 deg, stretch and staple the middle. Turn 180 deg. and staple the middle.  Next stretching as I go I staple along the sides leaving the corners free. I cut across the corners an inch out, fold one side in and then fold the other side of the corners see bottom left.. Next I put hte canvas flat down and paint acrylic / gesso on the back and sides. Turn it over using a cork cut into 4 to balance the underside and paint the flat side. This will take up to 12 hours to dry. I then pint the whole again.  2 coats are generally sufficient but you can use 3. Lastly I rub a base colour on the canvas – I like burnt sienna or brown madder plus white spirit (odourless).

Author: Ann

Ann Palmer is a landscape painter based in Rochester, Kent and in the Loire Valley chateau and vineyard region where she owns cottages to rent. She works ‘en plein air’ in oils in Kent and in Touraine in the Loire Valley; her subject matter includes the valleys and coasts of Kent and the vineyards and Chateaux of France. Ann works quickly, resulting in a freshness which is impressionistic yet creates a clarity of subject and defines the mood of the day. Ann uses artist quality oils on acrylic primed MDF using both brushwork and palette knife.