Boards & Surfaces

Present your artwork perfectly with our fabulous selection of boards and surfaces at Spotlight. With canvases of all sizes, portfolios for transporting your work, sketchbooks and more, express yourself through art using our boards and surfaces. Whatever the masterpiece, start with the best of blank canvases and shop the range online or at your local Spotlight store today.

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How To Choose The Best Canvas For Painting?

As an artist, there are various mediums you can paint on. Canvas is undoubtedly one of the most popular and there are many variations you could be taking advantage of. But what is the best canvas for your style and technique? Let us find out!

What Is The Benefit Of Cotton Duck Canvas?

One of the most common canvas types you will encounter is the cotton duck canvas. Cotton duck canvas is among the most affordable canvas types as well, which makes this type of canvas quite suitable for beginners.

We must mention that cotton duck canvas can be obtained in a variety of weights and weaves, this can influence how your brush strokes translate on the canvas. Some of the cheaper versions can be quite loosely woven, which means your work can distort more easily when it is stretched. Therefore, when you obtain cotton duck canvas, always look at some of the sturdier weaves for maximum durability.

When you work with cotton duck canvas, you can counter some of its imperfections by filling in tiny holes on the canvas yourself with a good primer, this is a product you can also obtain from Spotlight.

What Is The Benefit Of Linen Canvas?

Another canvas medium you can encounter is so-called linen canvas. Among artists, this is preferred over cotton canvas, mainly due to the tighter weave this canvas delivers.

Linen canvas is created across the world and there can be some variations in quality depending on the country of origin, e.g. Belgian linen canvas is considered as some of the best, but it does come with an increase in price.

One of the major benefits of a good linen canvas is that it is unlikely to stretch or shrink once you have treated it with a good primer. On the downside, priming your linen canvas is an essential, as the canvas can have a brown appearance if it has not been treated beforehand.

What Is The Benefit Of Watercolour Canvas?

Artists who prefer to work with watercolour paints should consider the watercolour canvas above all else. When you use watercolour on any other canvas, you will notice that the results you obtain can be quite different and diverse. While some of the more experienced artists do not mind experimenting with different canvas materials, as a beginner it could be best to remain with watercolour canvas for the best results.

Are Synthetic Canvas Materials Bad For My Artwork?

When you talk to some of the other artists around you, it is not uncommon to hear them speak badly about synthetic canvas materials. The reason for that is quite simple, synthetic canvas materials are relatively new in the art world. Many artists believe that these canvas materials cannot stand the test of time, even though nothing has been proven as such.

If you decide to use synthetic fabric fibres, it is important to have a strong base for the canvas, e.g. a wood back panel. Contrary to popular belief, synthetic fibres have no problems carrying the weight of primer and paint, this ensures your artwork stays in good condition for some time to come. It also means your painting will not distort if you combine this type of canvas with a proper panel on the back.

Do I Have To Stretch My Canvas?

Stretching canvas is an art on its own and it often takes a little practice to get it right. There are plenty of online tutorials on how to stretch your own canvas. Still, if you find yourself struggling, there is an option in the form of buying pre-stretched canvas for all your artwork.

Do I Have To Use Primer?

Please note that some types of canvas can already contain primer, which has been done by the manufacturer. It also means that you do not necessarily have to apply your own primer.

In theory, you do not need to prime your canvas when you are painting with acrylic paint. However, other paints are likely to interact badly with your canvas if the surface has not been primed accordingly, this can include oil paint. Over time, it can cause your canvas to fade and deteriorate, so artists should always prime when they use oil paints.

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