Choosing the right canvas for you

by Cass Art

The blank canvas is a new landscape to explore artistic possibilities and a staple in any artists creative practice. But the term canvas is a catch-all for stretched fabric over a frame. Historically two materials have dominated the canvas industry, Cotton and Linen. Before you choose your canvas of choice, it's always good to see what’s available as there is a vast selection to be made so think about what it is you are using the canvas for, what medium you'll be using and what will help you achieve the results to suit you. In this blog we’re going to give you a breakdown of the characteristics of each to help you decide what surface is best applicable for your practice.

Stretched Canvas

Canvases are generally tightly stretched on to a frame that creates a spring in the fabric when pressure is applied. The more taut the canvas ia the more enjoyable it is to paint on, as the tension in the surface has an element of vibrancy and creates a more rigid surface to paint on. The tightness of a canvas must be the same across the whole frame so that the grain of the fabric is square to the edges, with no skewing. Readymade or pre stretched canvases most commonly have a universally primed canvas stretched on to a wooden frame with bevelled edges or quandrants.

Cass Art Artists Cotton Canvas Exhibition Grade

Cotton canvas is generally the most common and affordable variety of canvas, but even it still comes in different weights and weaves. Cotton Duck is classified according to the weight of the surface texture, while weave is a term for how tight the threads are woven.

Our Cass Art Artists Cotton Canvas is made from high quality European spruce wood and 100% rayon cotton.

  • Made from the highest-quality spruce wood and 100% pure cotton, this exhibition grade, European made, medium grain canvas has been produced for use with all forms of oil and acrylic colour, as well as many other mixed media applications.
  • These canvases are also primed with three layers of gesso primer, FSC approved and acid free.
  • Various sizes available, 1.9cm / 0.75 inches deep.
  • It's a heavyweight canvas so weighs at 335gsm / 11.8oz.
  • They are sold in packs online but available individually in stores.

You can shop the full range of sizes in the Cass Art Cotton Canvas Artists Grade range here.

Cass Art Cotton 11.3oz Canvas

This range comes in 2 different depths - 1.9cm and Deep Edge 3.8cm. They are made from high quality spruce wood and 100% pure cotton. This medium grain canvas has been produced for use with all forms of oil and acrylic colour, as well as many other mixed media applications.

  • These canvas are also primed with three layers of gesso primer, FSC approved and acid free.
  • They are sold in packs online but available individually in stores.
  • The canvas range in size and are 1.9cm / 0.75 inches deep. The canvas heavyweight at 320gsm / 11.3oz.
  • The  Deep Edge range in size and are 3.8cm / 1.5 inches deep. The canvas heavyweight also at 320gsm / 11.3oz.

You can shop our Cass Art Canvas range here.

Artists Natural Linen Canvas

Linen is made from flax and considered to be superior to cotton due to strength and durability. It is not super absorbent by nature like cotton is and is less prone to expand and contract due to moisture. It is able to retain its natural oil content, which preserves the fibre’s long-term flexibility. 

Cass Art Artists Natural Linen Canvas is made from high quality European spruce wood and 100% pure flax linen.

  • Made from the highest-quality spruce wood and 100% pure flax linen, this exhibition grade, European made, medium grain, clear primed canvas has been produced for use with all forms of oil and acrylic colour, as well as many other mixed media applications.
  • These canvases are primed, FSC approved and acid free.
  • They are sold in packs online but available individually in stores. The canvas range in size and are 2cm / 0.79 inches deep.
  • The canvas heavyweight at 320gsm / 11.3oz.

You can shop the full range of sizes in the Cass Art Natural Linen Artists Grade range here.

Canvas Boards

Canvas board is the term used for when a canvas is adhered to a rigid surface such as wood or card. They are wrapped around the board and glued to the reverse, whereas boards have canvas glued to the front only, with shear edges. They are perfect for both quick sketches and more accomplished finished pieces

Our new range of Cass Art Canvas Board provide a high-quality alternative to using stretched canvas. They are durable and more portable making them perfect for al fresco painting. These canvas boards are triple-gesso primed, with a medium grain surface making them perfect for all forms of Oil, Acrylic and mixed media applications.

  • High quality, dependable alternative to using stretched canvas.
  • Triple Gesso Primed.

You can shop our full range of Canvas Boards here.

Canvas Rolls and Stretcher Bars

Alot of artists prefer to make their own canvases to their own specifications, and we sell all the tools and accessories an artist would require to make their own canvas. So If you can’t find the right length, width, depth, grain or priming all wrapped up in one desirable canvas we also sell canvas rolls and stretcher bars to meet every artist needs! There are a couple of things to consider when choosing your ideal canvas and stretcher bars.

Weave

Canvas is measured in grams per square metre (or gsm as you'll commonly see) or ounces per square yard (oz). If the cotton or linen has a heavy weight then one or both of the following is true: it is a thick, tough yarn and/or it is tightly woven. Lightweight cotton or linens have an open weave and generally a fine yarn, they are easier to stretch and are more responsive to tightening procedures to make them more taut. The lighter weight canvases are usually used by artists who draw and/or have a much more delicate touch in their work.

Weight

The heavier the weight of the canvas means the more tension the fabric can take without ripping. If you're deciding to apint on a large scale i'ts best to go with the heavier option.  Weight is how much fabric there is per area so it is determined by both thickness of the thread used to weave and how tightly it is woven. A coarse canvas can be loosely woven so it could be lighter weight than a fine canvas that is tightly woven. But usually, a thick thread makes a heavy canvas and a thin thread makes a light canvas.

Cass Art Unprimed Cotton Duck Canvas Roll 

Our Unprimed Cotton Duck Canvas is woven from 100% cotton and comes in 9oz, 10oz, 12oz and 15oz

Cass Art Primed Cotton Duck Canvas Roll

This Primed Cotton Duck Canvas is heavy duty 9oz canvas woven from 100% cotton, primed with a Universal Primer for use with both Oil and Acrylic. It is a strong canvas with medium/ coarse weave. It comes in 9oz and 12oz and is 72 inches (183 cm) in width.

Stretcher bars

Our stretcher bars are produced from high quality European pine and measure 36mm in depth, 8mm lip and 40mm in width. Available in a range of sizes from 25 to 180cm in length. They are strong due to the laminated construction to ensure zero warping.

  • Cass Art Branded
  • Unique & exclusive to Cass Art
  • Produced from the same highest quality European pine as existing Exhibition range
  • Easy to assemble
  • Affordable, whilst offering the same and durability and high quality
  • Stretcher Bars sized 100cm+ are mortised in the centre for interlocking cross bars to add greater dependability and stability.

 

Now you're ready to get started with chossing your surface of perference. You can explore our full range of canvases here.


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