What Are the Best Canvas Choices for Artists?

When artists talk about canvas, this is a rather generic term to describe the support for a painting. Choosing the right type of canvas for your artwork depends wholly on your budget, the type of painting you’re creating, as well as your comfort and familiarity. Canvas can vary in types, including cotton duck (the most common), linen (more expensive) and watercolor canvas rolls. Beyond those choices, an artist must also consider whether he’ll buy prestretched canvas (or stretch his own) before he or she begins their masterpiece.

Cotton duck canvas roll. Despite its name, cotton duck canvas has nothing to do with ducks. It comes in a variety of weights and weaves. The less expensive cotton duck canvas roll is loosely woven, and the fabric can easily distort if stretched too far. If you choose to stretch your own canvas, by using a canvas stretcher bar, then you may find that cotton duck canvas is even less expensive when bought online. You can also fill the indentations in the weave with gesso, which will help create a smoother painting surface.

Linen canvas roll. Linen canvas is considered a superior type of canvas, but is also pretty pricey. It has narrower threads and a tighter weave. Once stretched and primed, linen canvas is not likely to stretch or shrink, and the threads should not distort.
Watercolor canvas roll. Many artists don’t realize that there is a specially made canvas for watercolor paints. This specialized canvas is certainly different than painting with watercolor on paper. It allows the paint to stay wet longer, and you can abuse the surface more with a coarse brush.
Prestretched canvas? Artists always wonder if they should buy prestretched canvas, or if they should purchase a canvas stretcher bar and stretch their own canvas. There are advantages to stretching your own canvas – you’ll get the exact shape and size you want. But if you stick to prestretched sizes, you’ll find it easier to buy ready-made frames for your artwork.

So much of the work an artist must do has little to do with painting, and has more to do with the preparatory work leading up to the artwork. But it’s important that you do take the time to choose the right tools and foundation for your art, so that you’ll be happier with the end result. Artists throughout Sydney and beyond turn to The Sydney Canvas Company for all of their art supply needs. Learn why by visiting them online at https://thesydneycanvascompany.com.au/.


  • Carol Smith

    This is a great informational post. Thank you, its a subject that many are not familiar with or just don’t think there is a difference. And thank you for adding the Sydney Canvas Company’s url.

  • Rosie

    Wow, I used to paint when younger and was wondering if i could ever have the opportunity to start up again. I didn’t know all this, and I’m glad to find out, because I don’t want to possibly do only a couple of paintings then find out afterwards I should have used better canvas and/or prep!!!

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