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Oil painting canvas: Key differences and Types Available On The Market

Canvas Is Your Main Support, Choose It With Care.

Differences between oil painting canvas - Artguilds

The Oil Painting Canvas is the fundamental support of the artist, but it has not always been at the center of the artistic world.
In this article, we will discover the various types on the market and some curiosities that will turn your mind about this tool, which in some cases is much more than a simple ‘support’ for our paintings.

Oil Painting Canvas - ArtGuilds

Oil Painting Canvas: A cotton linen one

Oil Painting Canvas, Today

The oil painting canvases we use today are the result of centuries of improvements and refinements.
Mostly made by a universal preparation, perfect to be used with oil paints and acrylic paints. The classic support is composed of the interweaving of flax fibers or, hemp and jute.
In order to make these supports more accessible, other materials such as cotton and synthetic fibers, have gradually been used.
It is difficult, anyway, to find a better canvas than the linen one.

Oil Painting Canvas: The Types Available On The Market

Linen: let’s start with what we have already announced as the best canvas for painting on the market. But why is this support the most appreciated on the market?
The main characteristic of the linen one is the very thick weft, which is perfect for portrait painting.
But that’s not all: it has also an excellent resistance over time, to traction and changes in temperature and humidity. Thanks for its best performance, linen canvas is also the most expensive – especially extra-fine ones.
Cotton: we could define it as the second choice “par excellence”. This canvas has a very dense weave. Its resistance, however, is not comparable to linen supports.
Linen blends: this is the canvas chosen by those who want the characteristics of linen but don’t want to spend too much. This type is therefore very common. It is very often chosen universally for different techniques.
Cotton blend : in this case you are not dealing with a 100% cotton canvas, but with a mixture of cotton and synthetic fibers (nylon or polyester). The price goes down further, but with it also the resistance to traction drops.

Oil Painting - ArtGuilds

Oil painting support

Oil painting canvas: An unbelievable anecdote

As we have seen, the cost of the canvas can sometimes be important. For this reason, in some cases, painters prefer to use the same one twiceReusing the back of one unfortunate painting to make another. And this is how happened with some very famous paintings of Leonardo Da Vinci.
A curious fact is related to Francis Bacon, who, after testing the Portrait of Innocent III, gave that same canvas to an amateur painter to ‘reuse’ it, recommending to cut it into pieces. Well, that preparatory painting of the Irish painter was found only in 2006, behind paintings of little value, cut in many small pieces.
The inheritors of that amateur artist found that oil painting canvas of hundreds of thousands of euros in their home.

If you like this article, I recommend you also this one: “Complementary colors: How to Understand color harmony”

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Written by Dea_Callahan

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