Why prepare your canvas before painting?
Preparation of a canvas with a coloured background has three essential functions: to protect the canvas, to create as a base layer for the painting, and thanks to the colour, to aid with the addition of light and shadow.
What colour to choose for your canvas background?
We recommend choosing tones close to yellow ochre or red ochre to prepare your canvas background. This is because they are neutral colours that are located in the middle of the spectrum. These colours allow you to find the right balance of light with the tints that will then be applied over them.
3 techniques to prepare your canvas
To save time while preparing your canvas background, you can use a mixed technique. This involves preparing your canvas with acrylic paint, which allows your primer to dry more quickly. We have three primer coating recipes for you, one using oil and two using acrylic.
Check out our guide on how to get started with oil painting, to review the three key rules of oil painting and to understand how it is possible to paint oil on acrylic, but not acrylic on oil.
Apply Flashe, our vinyl emulsion, to your canvas with a palette knife to ensure complete coverage. Then use a spalter brush to evenly spread the colour over the canvas for a perfectly smooth finish.
Acrylic + Binder Gel
To prepare this binder, mix two parts gel with one part paint. This binder makes the paint more adhesive. Apply the mixture to the canvas with a palette knife to ensure complete coverage. Finally, using a flat brush, smooth the layer to achieve a uniform coverage with crossing strokes.
Alkyd Medium + oil colour
Depending on the desired transparency, mix one part oil with one to four parts Alkyd medium. The more medium used, the more transparent the colour. To ensure complete coverage, apply the mixture to the canvas with a palette knife, then smooth with a brush for a perfectly uniform result.