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prepping canvas

Discussion in 'Beginners Airbrush Questions!' started by BobRoss, Jun 5, 2017.


  1. BobRoss

    BobRoss Double Actioner

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    what are the challenges to airbrushing on canvas? base coat with gesso or a layer of acrylic first?

    i sold an old gpu and can get a 7 meter x 1.5m roll with the profits.

    the paper i have now is okay to practice on, but once you up the liquid content and blast on heavy paints, the paper really shows its limitations.

    ive seen some higher gsm paper online, best deal i can find in oz is about 24 sheets of 220 gsm A3 for 10 bucks... i may order one and get more reject store sketch paper to practice with.. basically 7 dollars for 120 sheets?? of 120 gsm..

    but im ready to step up and try to make a piece or two im going to try and gift or sell.. 7 dollars for a 2 meter x .4 meter canvas.. or i can get the 7m x 1.5m for 50 bucks.. well 70 if i have them deliver..

    any thoughts on airbrush to canvas? i will be combine airbrush, and hand brushes..
  2. markjthomson

    markjthomson AKA Quick Draw !! (and still very happy) Staff Member Mod

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    Depends how close the weave is. A few good coats of gesso are fine. Some will sand them back to get a smooth finish. Thre is limited erasing that can be done on canvas because of the weave.
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  3. BobRoss

    BobRoss Double Actioner

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    thanks

    what about uncoated canvas.. does it soak up paint and give off that blurry image if uncoated?
  4. DaveG

    DaveG Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    You can paint on un-coated canvas just fine - as well as any other fabric. In some respects it actually works quite well, because paint tends to stick where it hits with less of a chance of spidering, due to the absorbency of the fabric itself. The softness, or sharpness of your image will depend on your technique. Masks and shields can be used over a fabric surface just as they can be over hard surfaces - with good results.

    This one was painted on a canvas panel that had a pre-gesso'd finish -

    bee-illustration7.jpg

    All that being said, I prefer to gesso and sand my canvas, to allow for a higher degree of detail. The smoother the surface, the easier to mask and paint. It becomes a labor intensive exercise - so I usually choose a different surface to begin with.
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  5. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

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    I don't enjoy painting on canvas. Mostly because I am too lazy to prep I, and also (depending on the weave) I find trying to do fine detail annoying, as the weave can bounce the paint in another direction minutely, but enough not to be as clean as I'd like. For softer images its fine, but I'd always prefer another surface. I guess it just doesn't suit how I like to paint, but you may find it ideal. Maybe just buy a small piece to try before investing in a large amount.
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  6. Joe A

    Joe A Needle-chuck Ninja Very Likeable!

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    I almost did the same thing but I ended up using hardboard instead. It's easier to cut to size and prep in my opinion and I get the smooth surface that I like. I can even vary it if I feel like it. I'm going to try making my own traditional gesso next time and possibly some claybord if I can get the ingredients soon enough.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


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  7. Lt4-396

    Lt4-396 Gravity Guru

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    Hardboard and gesso or clay is the way to go. Using canvas IMO is only good to say hey this is on canvas especially if your going to prep canvas.
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  8. BobRoss

    BobRoss Double Actioner

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    thanks, sweet painting you have there.

    did you put a finishing coat on? if so what do you recommend
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  9. BobRoss

    BobRoss Double Actioner

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    as far as hardboard its more expensive than the canvas i can get here in oz. i was at a local hobby store just looking at their prices for cardboard, foam board.. outrageous for such small pieces too.. even 220 gsm at that place was basically a dollar a sheet.

    ill never get use to sticker shock in oz.. never

    plus ill be selling on ebay/etsy and rolling canvas would seem the easiest way to ship.. will the gesso crack when rolled? so much to learn..
  10. Joe A

    Joe A Needle-chuck Ninja Very Likeable!

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    Hobby stores jack the price up on everything. Price the hardboard at a home improvement or building material place. Even a lumber yard. They can usually chop it up to the size/sizes you prefer.

    As for rolling the canvas...I have no idea. I was assuming you would be prepping the canvas by stretching it over a frame and applying gesso. Maybe someone else would have more insight into this.


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  11. Lt4-396

    Lt4-396 Gravity Guru

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    Buy a 4ftx8ft of hardboard,mdf or masonite I prefer hardboard than mdf than masonite. Usually they will cut them for free if you don't have a table saw or circular saw and worst case scenario it's $.50 per cut you get alot of pieces from a 4x8 sheet
  12. DaveG

    DaveG Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    Thanks for the kind words. I did use a matte acrylic varnish over the finished piece. I just shot it though an airbrush with a larger needle/nozzle combo.
    If you are working on loose canvas, you will want to at least temporarily stretch it to work on it. Afterwards, I do not think you will have any trouble cracking should you choose to roll it. It will largely depend on how you prep the canvas - a lot of gesso could build a brittle base that could crack, but a simple coat, followed by layers of airbrush work should not be developing a layer thick enough to want to crack... at least that would be my guess :malicious:.
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  13. RebelAir

    RebelAir Air-Valve Autobot!

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    LOL, dnt get it at artstores, go buy it from bunnings, 1 x 6mm sheet or thicker if you like, I often paint on the 3 mm so its easily moved around, normally 2400x1200 is a lot of smaller boards. Get that on special and I doubt few canvas suppliers besides the reject shop maybe will be a cheaper option, prepped MDF is a much more controllable surface and not far off your higher end clayboard and synthetic paper alternatives, erasing is also fine on it in comparison to canvas which can be easily overworked, if you want texture, then use your canvas, more towards traditional methods, but the amount of prep time to get canvas ready to paint high end work is prob a few hrs in each board, consider that also in your costing factor if planning to do such for sale, the mdf by comparison is prob about 3 minutes a board to prep is a solid non moving surface which if you want it to last years prob a better surface also in that regard. but ultimately canvas is for oil painters LOL
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  14. LadyCharlie

    LadyCharlie Double Actioner

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    May I ask what thickness of hardboard you are using? I'm checking prices at our local lumber yards. They refer to it as Tempered Hardboard. Is that what I'm looking for? I appreciate any input.
  15. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    As @RebelAir has said..... go to Bunnings for the MDF sheets. They can cut the larger sheets to any size you want - at a cost, but its easier to get in the car and saves you time and effort of doing it yourself. the full sheets are the cheapest option by far.
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  16. Joe A

    Joe A Needle-chuck Ninja Very Likeable!

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    These are 1/8" inch.


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  17. LadyCharlie

    LadyCharlie Double Actioner

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    Thank you.
  18. Joe A

    Joe A Needle-chuck Ninja Very Likeable!

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    No problem. Like JackEb said, you can also use MDF.

    If I'm not mistaken, tempered hardboard is treated with oil. You do not want oil treated hardboard. Problem is that most of what is called "tempered hardboard" isn't actually tempered. Just ask if it has been treated with oil.

    If you go with MDF, you don't have to worry about that.


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  19. Lt4-396

    Lt4-396 Gravity Guru

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    1/8 or 3mm is usually what most stores carry.
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  20. LadyCharlie

    LadyCharlie Double Actioner

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    Perfect! That was my next question. Thank you.

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