For every artist, canvas is a very important element of his work, and that is why it is so important to be able to choose it correctly, prime it and stretch it. Only on a high-quality canvas will your painting look beautiful and successful.
To begin with, take a responsible approach to the choice of material for the canvas - different materials are primed in different ways, and also affect the texture of the future painting in different ways. Do not buy rare canvas and too thin fabrics (calico, cotton). The most successful option would be to buy hemp hemp canvas, as well as linen.
Buy fabrics of medium thickness and sufficient weight for a good bond. The canvas should not be too rough or too smooth.
When pulling the canvas onto the stretcher, make sure that it does not bend or warp. The stretched canvas should be resilient and strong, it should not sag under the brush and not wrinkle.
Start stretching the canvas by securing the corners to the stretcher with temporary nails. After that, the central points of the four sides of the canvas are fixed - first the short sides, then the long ones.
Stretch the canvas from the middle to the corners, and only after the tension is strong, finally hammer the nails into the stretcher. Use tapered furniture nails and drive them into the stretcher in a checkerboard pattern to prevent cracking of the stretcher.
After stretching the canvas, the temporary nails are removed and the canvas is glued to make it airtight and close the pores and holes in the fabric. Sizing prepares the canvas for priming and insulates the fabric from the effects of oil paints.
In some cases, artists stretch a ready-made, store-bought primed canvas onto a stretcher. In this case, the canvas must not be wetted before stretching - the primed canvas must be stretched dry.
For proper sizing of the canvas, you need to apply several layers of glue - from two to four, applying a protective film on one side and on the other. Use a 5% glue solution, with a gelatinous consistency.
Apply the adhesive with a wide brush or spatula to the stretched canvas, removing excess with a knife, placing its edge perpendicular to the canvas. The adhesive should cover the canvas, but not penetrate the back of the canvas.
Dry the canvas after first gluing at room temperature and repeat the operation. Then sand the surface of the canvas with sandpaper, smoothing it down.
Continue to glue the canvas using a thinner glue with a plasticizer (glycerin or honey).
After gluing, start priming the canvas. Apply the primer to the canvas using a wide brush or wide spatula. Do not apply additional coats of primer to the same area.
Dry the first coat of primer, then apply a second and third, if necessary, using liquid primer.
Dry the canvas and check if the texture is even and smooth. Your canvas is now ready.