It’s finally here! My first in a series of video tutorials. I realize that I have already posted once on how to stretch a canvas, but I think (and hope) that this video will make things a bit more clear. This should be a useful tool for those of you who would like to try stretching your own canvas, but are not sure where to start.
Stretching your own canvas is more time consuming than picking one up at the store, but it’s also a lot less expensive. Another advantage is the fact that you can custom make a canvas according to your needs.
A huge thank you to my minion, Harmony, for filming and editing this video for me!
I’ll also include a list of tools and where things can be purchased in case you’re interested in trying this out for yourself!
- Stretcher bars (available at utrecht.com, dickblick.com, and Michaels)
- Canvas (fabric stores, utrecht.com, dickblick.com)
- Staple Gun and staples (hardware stores, Walmart)
- Rubber Mallet or similar item (Wal Mart, hardware stores)
- Gesso (Michaels, utrecht.com, dickblick.com)
- large paint brush (hardware stores, Walmart)
- Canvas Pliers, optional (dickblick.com, utrecht.com)
I woke up this morning and suddenly remembered that I have quite a bit of work to do to prepare for my October show. So I ditched my house work (any excuse, right?) and formulated a game plan. I already knew that I wanted to paint the wren chicks in my back yard, and I have tons of photos of them.
I dug around in my studio and found two pre-cut 9″ x 12″ panels. Using a 50-50 mixture of Elmer’s Glue-All and Wallpaper paste, I adhered matching fabric to both of the panels.
- First, I used a brush and applied a medium coat of the glue mixture onto the panel.
- I laid the fabric on top and used a small straight edge to smooth the fabric to the panel. The glue should bleed through the fabric. I flipped the panel over and applied glue to the edges and folded the fabric around the panel as neatly as I could gluing it as I went. Then I stapled the four corners with a staple gun.
- When that was dry, I applied a coat of clear Acrylic Medium.
And when that was dry I sketched my two favorite photos on top of the fabric with white chalk. Normally, to save time, I use a grid or a projector to transfer the image. I decided that in this case it would be just as efficient to sketch the image free hand. I like to use white chalk because it stands out against patterned fabrics, and can easily be removed with a damp cloth. Then I painted the first layer in Acrylic paint.