What does acrylic on canvas mean

The best painting techniques on canvas

You can paint on a wide variety of surfaces - from paper to wood to metal or stone. A classic and still popular painting surface is canvas drawn on a stretcher frame. In the following, we would like to introduce you to which painting techniques can be used particularly well on canvas and what you should consider when choosing the canvas.

Brief material science: The canvas as a painting surface

Canvases used to be made out of hemp fiber. Today they are mostly made of cotton or linen. Due to the higher resilience, the higher quality linen fabrics are used, especially for larger pictures.

The fabrics are first stretched on a wooden frame and then treated with so-called pre-gluing.

The right canvas for the right painting technique

Canvases can have very different structures and different thicknesses - depending on the desired effect and the painting technique used, sometimes finer, sometimes coarser painting cloths are better.

Coarse canvas structures go particularly well with impasto painting techniques, such as the impasto technique. The finer the brushstrokes, the better a fine canvas structure will fit. For glazing painting techniques, smooth canvases are the more suitable surface. But be careful: the smoother the surface, the faster errors or inaccuracies can be identified!

Canvases and primer

Before you can paint on a canvas, it usually first has to be primed. Whether you can do without a primer depends, among other things, on the paint used and the painting technique: While acrylic paints also hold on to a non-primed surface, a primer is essential for painting with oil paints or watercolors.

You can buy already primed canvases in specialist shops or you can prime the canvas yourself. If it has to go quickly, primed canvases are quite usable. If you want more control over the type and quality of the primer, you will usually prefer to prime your canvas yourself.

Popular painting techniques on canvas

Oil painting

A classic painting technique for canvases is oil painting. Versatile techniques offer experienced painters, but also beginners in oil painting, new creative challenges time and again.

Acrylic painting

Acrylic paints can be applied to almost any surface - including canvas, of course. If you want to try painting with acrylic paints first, you will probably first use cheaper materials such as cardboard. For larger, more ambitious painting projects, however, canvases are better suited due to their special charisma.

Watercolor painting

With watercolors and the right painting technique, beautiful results can be achieved on canvas. It is important to have a suitable watercolor primer, which should be applied several times if possible. Since watercolors cannot penetrate onto canvas, unlike special watercolor paper, a special watercolor primer is required for canvases.

In our video tutorial we show you the right painting technique for watercolor paints on canvas: