Oil toile pour peinture à l’huile are generally painted on a canvas, and there are many different types of canvas available. It’s important to understand the differences between them to make the right choice for your painting project.
The canvas surface can be made from linen or cotton, with both having advantages and disadvantages. Cotton can be cheaper and is widely available, but is more absorbent than linen and may not stretch well. Linen is more expensive but has the advantage of being very stiff, so that oil paint doesn’t easily crack on it. It also isn’t as porous, so that the texture of the canvas is less noticeable.
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When choosing your canvas, it’s important to consider longevity and archivalness. If you’re going to be displaying your paintings for a long time, then it’s important that the support is rigid enough to prevent any physical damage. It’s also important that the painting is protected from light and moisture, which could cause deterioration over time. If you’re concerned about these issues then I would suggest opting for a panel board, such as Blick Premier or Winsor & Newton Gessobord, which are a great solution. They are stiff, but can still be rolled up. They can be glued to a standard stretcher or strainer frame, so that you get the benefits of a rigid support without the annoying ‘canvas bounce’ and they are easy to store.
Aside from a suitable canvas, you’ll also need to choose your paints and cleaning solvents. I recommend using water mixable oils to save yourself the time and trouble of dealing with flammable mineral spirits, which is required to thin oil paints, as it’s toxic and requires ventilation.