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What’s a dancer without shoes, a writer without a pen, an artist without a canvas? Though contemporary artists’ go-to painting surface is stretched canvas, this is something that’s relatively recent; its origins can be traced only to the early 1400s. Venetian artists popularized the method during the Renaissance because of Venice’s abundance of sailcloth and its humid climate, which made painting on plaster or wooden boards difficult. A blank canvas holds unlimited possibilities; peruse our selection of stretched canvases below to find the best product for your needs.
1. Sargent Art Stretched Canvas
What is most unique about this stretched cotton canvas is its frame, made of Paulownia wood. The 24-by-36-inch canvas has been pre-treated with double acrylic titanium priming, making it most suitable for oil or acrylic paints. What’s more, at a nice price, it’s a great value for the quality.
2. Reeves Cotton Stretched Canvas Frame
This canvas, made of 100 percent cotton, has been double-coated with acid-free sizing and gesso primer. It provides a medium-grain surface, which aids in the texture of thinner paints, yet also works well for heavier acrylics and oils. The canvas is stretched and back-stapled, which allows the 5/8-inch sides to be painted if desired. Though the canvas itself has been stretched to perfection before packaging, the company has left ample extra material at the back to enable easy re stretching if necessary.
3. Fredrix Red Label Stretched Canvas
Manufactured in the United States, this stretched canvas is of the highest quality. It measures 20 by 30 inches, providing a large format for your artistry. The surface is made of 100 percent cotton duck canvas and has been double-primed with acid-free gesso for use with oils as well as acrylics. The surface is of medium texture, ensuring that the primer doesn’t rid your canvas of all its tangible qualities.
4. Masterpiece Artist Canvas
This professional-quality canvas measures 24 by 30 inches and has been double-primed with acrylic gesso, making it ideal for oils, acrylics, and alkyds. Where this canvas stands apart, however, is in its super-smooth texture, ready for even the most minute of painterly details. What’s more, the manufacturing process is eco-friendly: The solid pine and fir stretcher bars have been sourced from the sustainable forests of the Pacific Northwest.
5. Winsor & Newton Professional Cotton Canvas
This canvas has been hand-stretched over kiln-dried pine bars tested to withstand moisture and warping. It is a slightly heavier canvas, which allows higher coverage without sacrificing color performance. Also included: a stretching device to adjust the canvas’s tautness to the artist’s personal preference.