Court Jones Blog
Breaking in a new canvas 
Wednesday, September 07, 2011, 09:40 AM - Paintings
Posted by Administrator
I've been using Claessen's Belgian oil primed linen for my fine art work for the past few years. It's the canvas of choice of many artists I admire like Jeremy Lipking and Morgan Weistling. And it is pretty great to paint on. But it's really tough to stretch since it's so rigid, and for some reason, it doesn't like to adhere to hardboards very well with any type of glue that I've tried. It either bubbles up in places, or the edges peel away. So I decided to try something new.

I ordered a small sample of Raphael oil primed linen and did this little oil sketch below to take it for a test drive. I immediately noticed it's more slick than the Claessen's. Paint doesn't stick to it as well, initially. But that actually can be a bonus, when you begin a painting; a little goes a long way. You can easily spread color around and block in the big shapes quickly, without much resistance. But then, more effort is required to get thicker paint to stay in place as you go along. Needless to say, my soft Langnickle sable brushes were my primary tools. I used some stiff bristle brushes at the end to lay down the thickest areas. But I couldn't use the bristles very much, because they ended up removing more paint than they laid down on that slick surface.

This Raphael canvas adheres really well to boards, and it is more flexible and easier to stretch than the Claessen's. So I went ahead and ordered the whole role of Raphael. And there's a lot of it, so I'll be using it for quite a while. And I do like the finished look of the surface--the way the paint interacts with this linen's weave.

This 8 x 10" study was done from a book of Steve McCurry portrait photos.


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