Coarse Linen Canvas


Linen canvas, which is naturally brown in color, is considered the classic substrate for oil painting. Traditionally, Renaissance painters took great care in ensuring none of the texture of the canvas showed through in the final painting by applying several layers of gesso and smoothing the final surface using fine sand paper. Modern techniques of painting take advantage of the texture of the canvas and incorporate it into the look of the final painting.

The linen canvas was stretched using two different methods. For most samples on coarse linen canvas 3M Super 77 multipurpose adhesive was used to attach the canvas to a 10" x 10" DiBond panel. There is one panel that was prepared in the traditional manner of stretching the canvas on a wooden frame. The coarse linen canvas was primed with 4 coats of Golden gesso after being sealed with GAC 700 using a 1 ½” Robert Simmons White Sable Skyflow brush (278W) for both applications. The texture of the coarse canvas is still very visible in the samples and contributes quite a bit to the appearance even after the paint was applied.

Raw linen canvas was also used to produce a set of acrylic paint samples. Although it is uncommon for paintings to be done on raw canvas, it is a choice sometimes made by the artist. It was also useful to have samples on raw canvas for comparison to the identical samples painted on primed canvas.


Back of coarse linen canvas panel stretched on a wooden frame