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Old 01-04-2009, 02:02 PM   #11
Julie Deane Julie Deane is offline
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Short How-To




Lisa,

If you don't mind the weight, you can glue a thin piece of furniture-grade plywood to your stretchers and then glue the linen to it. I've found good success in doing that with smaller pieces, but I'm not sure how the weight would be for 30 x 40. You could try getting the local lumber place to custom cut you some out of 1/4 inch to see (you might need thicker for this size canvas). You will need to add some bracing.

Here are a few links that I have found helpful:

http://www.ampersandart.com/featured...ed-artist.html

http://www.amien.org/forums

I'm working my way up to the larger sizes (only done to 16 x 20 so far), so I haven't tackled a 30 x 40 inch canvas - yet. I feel it is helping my skill level to practice first. My first attempt was pitiful, but the improvement was rapid. You also might want to try your hand at some smaller sizes to get a feel for the task before doing this large a canvas.

For my 16 x 20 inch canvas, I glued my plywood panel to my stretchers. I used Golden's GAC100 to seal the plywood. I also made sure that my pre-primed linen was smooth on the back - I found that if I didn't use something like sandpaper to smooth off the nubs, they would show through on the front. I then applied Lineco archival glue to the panel, flipped it over and positioned it on the linen, turned it back so that the linen was facing upright and used a 6 inch wide brayer to get the linen smooth. I then weighed it down with a board and heavy weights and let it dry overnight. It came out very nice - the surface was perfectly flat: I folded and stapled the linen around the sides of the stretchers like I would normally do with a canvas.

For the Dibond, you would need to research the right type of primer to use. I thought I had that info, but can't lay my hand on it at the moment.

If you need to get a piece of Dibond quickly, I have two 36 x 48 pieces and I will be happy to sell one to you for what I paid. I'm about an hour north of Atlanta.

Hope this helps.
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:18 PM   #12
Tom Edgerton Tom Edgerton is offline
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There are some other threads re: applying canvas to panels, and some methods get very exotic, such as aircraft aluminum, etc.

To Richard's point, I did my first portrait on canvas adhered to masonite, a 30x40 canvas (a "moderate" size), and it weighed a bloody ton. Haven't done it since.

Interestingly, Scott Burdick painted a demo here in Greensboro this year, and he is painting on canvas adhered to "gator board," a stiffer, harder version of foamcore. It's extremely lightweight and stable. He has done some very large paintings on this material, and they come to him with the canvas already applied. You might want to e-mail him and ask what manufacturer they come from--memory fails me now. And if you want to resize the canvas slightly, you don't have to restretch it, you can just cut it down.
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Old 01-04-2009, 07:14 PM   #13
Richard Bingham Richard Bingham is offline
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Alum? Look in the spices section at your supermarket. McCormick packages approx. 2 oz of alum in a small jar . . . kind of a rip for the price asked for that amount, but then, you don't need much. Your local pharmacy may also have it.

Gatorboard is certainly a workable choice for panels to use for canvas supports. Available in 4'x8' sheets in thicknesses from 3/8" to 2", it's amazingly flat, rigid, stable and light in weight. Only drawback I see is that styrofoam core, which won't add much Old World ambience to perceptions of what a "fyne arte" oil painting should entail . . . you'd probably want to camoflage this aspect for the sake of your clients' peace of mind . . . styrofoam has a way of being negatively associated with fast-food packaging.

I believe "New Traditions" is one maker of canvas panels on foamcore board.
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Old 01-30-2009, 10:46 PM   #14
Virgil Elliott Virgil Elliott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa Gleim
I have a LINEN canvas that keeps sagging. I have tried many tricks, re-stretching for one, lightly misted the back with water and let dry and used stretcher keys.
Does any one have a suggestion on how to tighten stretched LINEN that sags? I have heard that misting the back with rubbing alcohol works. Does any one know anything about that or if it works???
Thanks!
Lisa
Lisa,

Alcohol on an oil painting is definitely a bad idea! There is a product called Tight'n'Up that works very well for tightening slack canvases.

Gluing the canvas to a rigid panel is probably the best thing, if you do it right.

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Old 02-19-2010, 01:58 AM   #15
Terri Thickstun Terri Thickstun is offline
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Hi Lisa,
I just happened on this thread and realize that my response is coming about a year late.
I had the same unfortunate experience a few months ago when I noticed that the canvas on a commissioned portrait was sagging. I was to deliver the painting two days later. Mine was painted on a pre- stretched canvas, 20 x 24. I found a lot of great input but none that worked for my timeframe, so in a panic I decided to try the quickest fix that I found. I have to tell you that I was terrified at the thought of doing this and I'm sure that it is not the best or safest method...but it honestly worked and the canvas remained tight. The instruction that I found online said to heat a pan of water to boiling, pour it into a bowl and using a clean, natural sponge, quickly and 'lightly' wet the back of the canvas...and immediately dry it with a blow dryer. It was an instant fix...not one that I'm proud of, but will probably do again as panic seems to frequent my studio :-)
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Old 02-19-2010, 11:22 AM   #16
Tom Edgerton Tom Edgerton is offline
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I'd be really terrified to use water that hot. Oil paint is remarkably resilient, but anything has its limits. I'm not sure I understand the logic of using hot water. Maybe it affects the fabric sizing or something.

In a pinch, I've misted water onto the back from a plastic bottle/ plant sprayer. Room temperature. Also, I've let it air dry after, with a good result. Some folks would object to water at all, and they may be right, I don't soak the canvas down under any circumstance.

If the canvas was reasonably tight, again, time will lessen the expansion/contraction, but I understand that kind of pressure in a commission situation. Also, not moving it from place to place helps, once it's hung...I've had them slacken from the framer's to my studio in certain seasons. Once it figures out where it's to live, the painting will settle down.
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Old 02-19-2010, 02:09 PM   #17
Terri Thickstun Terri Thickstun is offline
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I absolutely agree Tom, this was a risky process, not one to use if there are other time tested options available. I should note that I paint fairly thin as well and I'm not sure of the effect this might have if one were to have heavy paint on the surface.
Drawing on my vast knowledge of laundry :-), I do understand that hot water and a hot dryer are more likely to shrink most natural fabrics. The temperature of the water did seem to be key and I can't agree more that this shouldn't be a process in which the back of the canvas is overly wet, it should just be a light touch with a damp sponge to dampen the canvas.
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Old 02-19-2010, 02:18 PM   #18
Tom Edgerton Tom Edgerton is offline
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No harm, no foul, as they say...
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:20 PM   #19
Richard Bingham Richard Bingham is offline
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Young oil paint is amazingly resilient and tough. Old paint films which have become embrittled are likely to crack and fall off the support when subjected to radical stresses.

Painting on stretched canvas is a relatively "chancey" proposition over the long haul, because the support is inherently flexible, and ultimately, the paint will not be. To avoid grief over sagging, slack, or puckering canvases, the best "fix" is for the painter to be knowledgeable on the properties of painting supports - it's hard to beat painting on your own supports if you have the skill and the time to make them.

In short, the most commonly used materials are quite given to "slacking off". Cotton canvas is not particularly strong, and will often become slack simply from the attack of being painted on. This is less of a problem for a glue-sized/oil primed canvas than for one primed with acrylic gesso which does not effectively shrink the fabric, and remains flexible.

Linen is a stronger fiber, but subject to changes in ambient humidity; slacking off in damp weather and tightening up in dry weather.

Hemp is much stronger than linen, does not get loose when worked on, as cotton does, and is much more resistant to changes in humidty, but it is not commonly offered pre-primed or pre-stretched.

Polyester is eminently stable, stronger than natural fibers, unaffected by humidity, and can be painted on directly without sizing or priming, but there is no "old world mystique" to using it.
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Old 02-21-2010, 09:33 PM   #20
Mary Cupp Mary Cupp is offline
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I have never seen hemp canvas but it sounds quite interesting. I know the hemp fiber is exceptionally strong. Has anyone had any experience with it?

I use mostly cotton canvas but it is a compromise, as linen is so expensive. I am wondering if hemp would be an improvement without as much expense. Does anyone have any advice on using it?
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