Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Few tips for preparing canvas for your oil painting

"Necessity is the mother of invention" and this is my recent discovery or perhaps other artists already know or use it. Just in case you don't know, I thought I'll share my experiences here.
After five years of rigorous labour into practicing drawings and paintings using pencils and water colour, I felt an urge to try out oil-painting (in the last few months). Since then, I have been desperately looking for a canvas to try out my passion. I visited shops in Thimphu and could not find one. I searched Gelephu town and nearby places - nil. I asked one of my friends to search Jaigoan if he could find me few meters from there. No, he could not get it from there too. He said there are canvas boards of smaller sizes only, but what I require is a larger size - I really want to upscale my painting works.

But I found out my ways to get there! It's bit tedious but comes out much cheaper and at your convenience.

1. I visited a cloth store and bought three meters of thick white cotton cloth @ Nu. 350/- per meter.
2. I bought a can of Shalimar white Primer from one of the hardware stores along with brushes and thiner.
3. I bought few wooden bids from the saw-mill.
4. Made frames using wooden bids according to the desired size of painting I want to work on.
5. Once wooden frame is ready, I cut out the cloth as per the size of wooden frame.
6. Now I stretched out cloth piece over the frame tightly using stapler (for soft wood stapler does just fine but in case wooden frame is of hard wood we may have to look for stronger pins).
7. Once its stretched uniformly, I painted white primer over it. I guess most Thanka painters use this method these days. Since oil-painting requires slightly thicker canvas, I chose to give it a second coat and let it dry. As per the instructions on the can, primer requires about 24 hours to fully dry, but if you can let it dry for slightly longer nothing like it.

I have my canvas ready now. I will let you know about what I painted on those home-made canvases in the times to come. Till then stay tuned :)