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Preparation of canvas

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I believe preparation of canvas is very important. I treat my canvas with primer first and then with gesso. I generally apply 2 coats of both the items so all of the canvas gets covered. I do not want one bit of canvas to be left out without the coat. These coatings will have immense effect on the painting.

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After the canvas dries for about 1 day after the gesso and primer application, I coat the canvas with one thick layer of oil paint. Then I allow the oil coat on the canvas to dry for about 2 days until it is completely dry. I allow it to dry in shadow, in the open space and then after it dries it is ready for painting.

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I will wash the canvas with the water, dry the canvas and then I start with the painting. If you are an oil painting artist, it is very important to know how to prepare canvas for oil painting, how to create grid, how to varnish a painting and then how to preserve a painting.

What to do after the painting is over ?

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I allow the painting to dry for about 3 -4 months after the painting is over. I live in India, so it is very hot between March and August, so allowing it to dry for 2 months is enough for me.

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Then it is ready for varnish. Expert artists here allow painting to dry for six to seven months. They feel it is completely ready for varnish. Varnish is a tricky process. If it is done incorrectly, the painting may get damaged heavily. The colors on the painting gets removed and gets distributed everywhere if the painting if varnished before the painting is completely dry. Then it will be very difficult to correct the damage anywhere on the painting.

If you have used the technique glazing or if you have used too much oil in the painting, it is safe to dry the painting for a minimum of 6 months.


· Administrator
210 Posts
thank you so much Ramya for a very informative tutorial.
I am not a painter - but, I know that if I ever wanted to attempt the canvas paintings, how important the preparation steps are. I know that the beginner budding artists will find it very helpful.
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