I know we have all been there. Sticking our hand on the back of a canvas to avoid those ugly stretcher bar lines or maybe adding cards or cardboard to pull the canvas away from its supports. 

I wanted to take a short break from painting to add in here some opinions I have made over the last 8 months of painting! Remember, these are just my opinions based on my experiences but maybe they can help you as much as they have helped me! 

Today I want to talk about canvas structure and offer a trick to help you have a professional start to your paintings, every time for free.

I love saving money and finding ways to paint for less so here it is, my most simple trick to help you create beautiful paintings time and time again. All you will need is a wash cloth, paper towel, or spray bottle, some water, and a clean surface to work (I use my floor 😂).

If you plan to use a rag or towel, simply wet them to excess and wipe down the back side of your canvas. If using a spray bottle, mist the back then gently wipe off excess. Be careful, too much water will over stretch your canvas and it can bow so you have been warned. 

Now, you have a damp back to your canvas, won’t this affect the paints, you ask? No, usually not. If your canvas is properly primed with gesso, it is sealed from water penetration. This way, the water from the back is simply there to tighten up the cotton. 

Stretcher bars are usually angled in and down slightly so if the canvas is taught there should be little, to no interference with the surface of the wood and canvas as they are slightly cambered. The problem is, most cost effective canvases never come close to those tight expensive ones offering a sub par working surface. Alas, with this trick you turn any canvas in to a professional canvas in a matter of seconds and you are ready to go instantly! Now all you need are your quality paints and brushes to get started!

Next up, I will write an article including photos to detail out my non toxic, made at home brush cleaner and conditioner to help me paint more and for longer without coughing or difficulty breathing clearly. Stay tuned!