Painters most often use canvas for creation, although there are many surfaces for painting. Choosing a canvas for your work is almost as important as creating your work. Canvas comes in different materials, weights, and sizes, each with its characteristics. Some are more durable than others, some have unique textures, and the canvas price ranges from very cheap to very expensive.
If you have been to a craft store or hobby store, you must have seen a large selection of canvases. If you order online, you can enter specific keywords to ensure you get the correct product. For example, canvases meant to be used for acrylic painting are not appropriate for oil painting, and oil canvases should not be used for acrylics.
So how do artists choose a suitable canvas? Let's start by knowing the different types and sizes of the canvas. Even if you are not a professional painter, this artistic knowledge will make a lot of fun.
Canvas Size Guide
Choosing the right canvas size can be tricky. How do you choose one that isn't too small and isn't too big? It's a very subjective decision. However, being aware of the different sizes can help you find the right one easier. Whether you had a spur-of-the-moment idea and you're on your way to the craft store, or if you like to keep a stockpile of varying canvas sizes for your artistic endeavors, it is essential to know what size you need. Canvases come in many different shapes and sizes.
|Common Canvas Sizes||All Squares||10"x20", 12"x24"||20"x30", 24"x36"||9"x12", 12"x16"||8"x10", 16"x20"||8"x10", 20"x24"|
Rectangular canvases are by far the most common shape, and come in an infinite variation of sizes. Some of the most common ones include:
- 4" x 6"
- 5" x 7"
- 8" x 10"
- 9" x 12"
- 12" x 16"
- 10" x 20"
- 20" x 30"
- 24" x 36"
Square canvases are great for if you want to combine a number of different paintings to create a dramatic overall look. The most common square sizes include:
- 8" x 8"
- 10" x 10"
- 12" x 12"
- 16" x 16"
- 20" x 20"
Oblong canvases are not extremely common, however they are a useful choice for tricky wall spaces, and often used to create paintings that are intended to be hung up side by side.
- 3" x 9"
- 12" x 36"
Common Canvas Types
Most painters will even buy small practice canvases in bulk and save a lot of money. If you plan to do a lot of painting and are getting serious about your work, you may want to consider stretching your canvases. In this case, you need to know more about the differences in canvas types, sizes, and how to stretch the canvas. Canvases are available in various forms to suit different applications and budgets. Canvas can be divided into categories by weight and material. The following are the most common canvas types you should know before choosing.
The heaviest and most textured canvases are cotton and jute twill, flax, or cotton duck. They are heavy and coarse, but the cotton duck is not as coarse and is considered a better grade of the canvas.
Lightweight Cotton Canvases
Cotton canvas is probably the most common. Lightweight, cheap cotton canvases are great for practicing painting, but they tend to stretch and shrink a lot over time.
Linen has become the best canvas material. The pictures on linen canvas have been created for more than a century. The texture is smooth and mostly free of knots and lumps. It is best for work where you don’t want the texture of the canvas to have much impact on the appearance of the work. It is also much more expensive than other types.
Cotton-rayon is typically very durable. This type of canvas is the most common and is what you get with a stretched canvas. Cotton-rayon canvas lasts longer, maintains flexibility over time.
Stretched canvas is one of the most popular types of canvas for acrylic painting. Most commonly made of cotton, the canvas is primed with gesso for oil and acrylic paintings.
As we all know, stretched canvases are expensive, the canvas panels have become a high-quality, more affordable alternative for beginners. These panels are great for practice and are lightweight and easy to carry, making them perfect for students.
Most experienced painters always like to prepare and stretch their canvas, or if they would like to create large paintings, canvas rolls are their best choice. Canvas rolls are usually sold by the yard or in rolls, which can get quite expensive.
How to choose the right Canvas Size
Whether you’re shopping for artwork or creating something yourself, picking the right canvas size is critical for your one-of-a-kind pieces. All canvases follow an aspect ratio. There are many factors you should consider when choosing your canvas.
- Determine the wall dimensions
When choosing your canvas, it is good to think about the space where the canvas will be hung. Measure the dimensions of the space and think about what kind of art would complement the area. Tall, narrow walls work best with canvas in a portrait or vertical orientation. Still, the horizontal wall spaces (for example, above sofas or in hallways) often work best with landscape-oriented canvas.
- Know the purpose of your painting
Choose a suitable canvas for your artwork. Whether it is size, shape, weight, or texture, it serves the purpose of the final artwork. Before choosing a canvas, you should think about what size would fit best with your idea and where the painting will be displayed.
There is no standard size for canvas, and there is no uniform standard for art.