Oils on Canvas

 Oil Painting on Canvas 

This is one of the most FAQ about oil painting supports.  

Oil paint gets increasingly hard and brittle as it ages, so it prefers a rigid, stable support; hardboard, properly prepared, is by far the most permanent and cost effective option.

Two waterfall paintings.  The first one is 36x24” on cradled hardboard panel. That is about as large as I will go before switching to canvas. Wood panels just get too heavy and cumbersome to manage when they are too large. 


The next one is 72x36”, on canvas.

Here’s how to prepare your canvas for painting in oils to minimize the detrimental effects of a flexible support for aging oil paint:

1.  Starting with an already primed canvas, add a coat of Golden’s GAC 400 on the back. This is a fabric stiffener that will minimize the movement of the fabric. Also, the resin coating will prevent absorption of atmospheric moisture as temperatures fluctuate, which normally causes the fabric to flex and relax.

2.  Add a coat of Golden’s GAC 100 to the front, over the gesso. This will create a sizing effect so that the oil will not be able to seep thru to the fabric, causing it to rot.

3.  Add extra layers of gesso on top of the GAC 100. I add about 25% GAC 100 to the first layer of gesso to give it more adhesive strength.