Skip to main content

Stretching Canvas

Stretching your own canvas has its benefits. You are able to create unusual sizes that you would not find elsewhere as most pre-stretched canvases are standard sizes. You also have the luxury of stripping your canvas from the stretchers and recycling the stretcher bars for another painting. Stretching canvas takes a little time, some patience a wee bit of hand strength.  To stretch your own canvas you will need some supplies such as a roll of canvas, stretcher bars, canvas pliers, staple gun, staples, sharp pair of scissors and a small awl.  Start by putting together your wooden stretcher bars being sure that they are aligned perfectly.  A T-square can be used to check this. Once the stretcher bars are assembled, lay out your roll of canvas on a flat clean surface.  It is rather important that you do not crease or wrinkle the canvas.  With a sharp pair of scissors cut around the stretcher bars giving yourself at least two inch border from the bars to the edge of the canvas.                                                                              

Lay your canvas primed side down and place your stretchers on the back of the canvas. Take one side of the canvas with your canvas pliers, pull and staple the canvas to the stretcher bar.  Rotate and do the same to the opposite side. Then systematically pull and staple the canvas to the stretchers.  Be sure to keep the canvas taut as you staple. Before long you will have a nicely taut stretched canvas.                                                                                     

If for any reason you see some buckling in the canvas you can take your small awl and extract some of the staples and re-stretch and staple again.  Finishing the corners is a nice touch.  It helps to keep the corners nice and neat and prevents any excess canvas from bunching up under a frame.



Popular posts from this blog

Understanding the DuMond palette-A brief tutorial

Many of my students ask me, "what is this palette that you are teaching me?" To which I reply "a palette that my teacher's teacher's teacher developed some time ago long before you and I were born." Of course this explanation fetches some curious looks, but in truth, the palette has been handed down through the generations from teacher to student. Fortunately it was handed down to me and happily I am handing it down to a future generation of aspiring artists.

At first glance, the prismatic palette appears to be of a complex nature with many colors. As shown above it proffers an array of a multitude of manufactured and premixed colors laid out in strings according to values. The top string of colors are manufactured pigments ranging from white, yellow, orange, red, blue, and black. The rest of the palette is comprised of pre-mixed colors in eight equal steps of light gray to dark gray, eight equal steps of light blue to dark blue and eight equal steps of l…


The art we create in essence is a reflection of who and what we are, what we have experienced, what we feel, what we think, what we would like to say.  Several months ago I lost my beloved pet.  It was a loss that I had never experienced before and it was devastating to say the least.  Many a day was spent feeling such sadness. Then one day I picked up a pencil and started to draw my dog’s portrait.  And from that point on the drawing became a means to express my love, my sorrow, all those feelings that had welled up inside.  Upon completion of the drawing  there was an internal shift and a catharsis followed.  The drawing had been a way to heal.  It had been a way to express everything that needed to be said and a way to honor her life.

Blogging vs. Facebook

It seems like a lifetime ago when I first set up my Facebook account and opted to concentrate my energies there on networking and exchanging ideas about art and artwork.  However after a decade or so on Facebook and having watched it change over the years I’ve come to the realization that the platform I once found engaging and constructive to building networks seemingly is no longer.  Upon reading one particular Facebook friend’s status update  (a fellow artist by the way) and the status update announced that as per this individual Facebook had become of a source of anxiety, dread and frustration.  And hence the status update continued with their announcement that they were leaving Facebook and returning to blogging.  In summary they felt that by returning to blogging they would get back to amicable exchange of ideas and discussions about none other than ART.  Such a novel idea. Their announcement struck me and I could absolutely see the merit in their thinking which prompted me to ex…