Canvas is very popular painting surface since it offers a painter great feeling under the brush while painting, it is very light and easy to transport and it comes in various sizes.
It can be very confusing choosing the right canvas for your work tho since there are so many different options on offer.
My personal choice and my recommendation to you is linen canvas since it is very durable, gives you great textured surface to paint on doesn’t slack over time if it is properly tightened on the stretcher bars.
There is one particular canvas that I decided to review for you because I think it is good for beginners and students since it is of good quality at a low price.
That is Art Alternatives Stretched canvas. But first let me tell you what you should look for when you are purchasing a canvas.
What Makes A Good Canvas?
When choosing a right canvas for you there are several things to consider, such as fabric, texture, and priming. These influence the quality of the canvas and what kind of painting it is most suited to.
So first of all you need to know what kind of paints you are going to use on your canvas since not all are suitable for all techniques.
The fabric used in most canvases is linen or cotton you can also find a synthetic canvas but that wouldn’t be my recommendation. I consider linen the best because of the quality of the surface and its durability, however, it is also very expensive.
Cotton is a more affordable option that provides an excellent surface but cotton expands since it takes in a lot of moisture so it can sag over time.
The canvas is made of natural fibres that are woven together producing different textures. Quality of the canvas depends on the quality of those fibres and the production methods.
Different textures are suitable for different types of painting. For example smoother texture is suitable for detailed painting rough texture is suitable for wide brush strokes and so on.
You can also change the surface of the canvas by adding gesso to already primed canvas.
What makes Art Alternatives linen canvas a good buy is the quality to price ratio. You get decent quality at a very low price. Let us first look into the basic features of Art Alternatives stretched linen canvas.
- Made of 100% linen
- Triple primed with clear gesso
- Texture and color of the linen shows through
- Suitable for acrylic painting, needs another layer of gesso so it could be used for oil or alkyd painting
- Back stapled to 1-3/8″ deep stretcher bars made of pine
Art Alternatives company is based in San Francisco Bay Area. It is a small creative group that is designing art supply essentials at low prices.
The company is founded in 2000 and it specializes in art surfaces. At Art Alternatives they manufacture over 350 sizes and styles of canvas and panels plus other creative tools and supplies.
Classic Linen Stretched Canvas
To summarize, this is a solid great for the price linen canvas that is suitable for students and beginners, but I am not so sure I would recommend it to serious artists.
The linen used for the production of Art Alternatives linen canvas is 100% Belgium linen. The canvas is stretched and back stapled to kiln-dried solid pine stretcher bars and all bigger sizes have cross bars added for additional support to prevent the frame to twist after the paint is added to it.
Clear acrylic gesso is used to prime the canvas in order to allow you to use the natural color of linen and incorporate it to your paintings tho I would recommend you to add additional layers of gesso so you can use this canvas for oil painting as well to stretch it additionally since it may be a bit loose.
This is a good medium priced canvas that can be improved with just a few additional steps, so I would say this is a good buy for students and beginners.
If you have any questions or need any help regarding the subject, please feel free to leave them in the comment section and I will be more than happy to answer them and help in any way I can.