When you hear the words “stretched canvas” you will automatically envision a square surface, poised on an easel, ready for the artists to take their brush to it. You may not realize that not all things that qualify as stretched canvas are square, they are not all made of the same materials, and they are not all made to be of the same quality.
A stretched canvas is indeed what a painter uses when they are going to create a work of art for display. The place these items on their easels and they began the process they follow to allow the visions in their minds to be transferred to the board in front of them.
Each artist has a vision for each item they create, and each item will be unique and require different materials to be used in the creation. That is why a stretched canvas is sold in different sizes, different shapes, and in differing qualities of materials.
These blank surfaces are made of boards that are generally pine and then they have a covering made of cotton, linen, or jute, stretched over the boards to create the stretched canvas. The quality of each item is determined by the quality of the material that is used to create the work surface. Individual tastes and preferences will determine the material chosen.
Other factors that are considered when you are ordering these items are the types of paints that you will be using on them. Watercolors work better on one material while oils do better applied to a completely different surface. Experimentation, experience, and trial and error will help you to learn which item is designed best for which use.
The professional pieces will only be stretched by hand so that the correct amount of tension is applied evenly over the entire surface area. If you are buying one of these pieces with American cotton as the base material you will have the choice of weaves the piece has. There are fine weaves, medium weaves, and heavy weaves.
Linen comes in a fine or medium weave and you can purchase rough surface jute. The linen and the jute can be purchased in a condition that is already primed for oil paintings. Some of these pieces are primed for acrylic paints to be used on them.
If you are a beginner then you may want to consider ordering the student grades of stretched canvas to learn on. The end product will look good if you use a student version, but the difference will be reflected more in the price of the material. As a student you will sometimes have problems and need to discard a painting. If you have paid a large amount of money for the surface board then you will be reluctant to discard it and begin again.
The price of the student versions is much lower than the prices of professional pieces and this will allow the student the opportunity to experiment with different surface materials, and different weaves, in combination with different paints and supplies.
Another way that the artist can save money when they are shopping for these items is to buy them in bulk. Once you are sure of the type of items you need for each type of project you will be undertaking you can order your items in lots of six or more and get a discounted price for them. This allows you to not only save money, but to always have the things you need on hand to do the work you want to do.