Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Garden of Eden & How to Paint on Unstretched Canvas

Adam & Eve.  The classic.  The second painting in the series of "Miracle Paintings" of scenes from the Bible.

I wanted the Tree of Knowledge to be front and center.  And I wanted color.  And pretty things like flowers and animals and a stream.  And of course, a very innocent Adam and Eve.

Here it is on the easel.  I think the colors are more true to life in this shot.  I have yet to get professional photographs of these...obviously.

I thought I'd share my process on how to paint on unstretched canvas, as when I started, I found there was little information on how-to.

First, I buy a roll of unstretched high-quality canvas.  Because I want the scrolls/paintings to be durable, I buy canvas that is already primed.  The problem there is that the primed side is a white primer, and I like the look of the natural canvas.

I had Lowe's cut me a piece of heavy particle board to the size of the paintings.  Then I lay the board on the floor and place the roll of canvas over it, and I cut it (carefully) to size.  I then take these sturdy pieces of wood that you see in the picture and some clamps that I found at the hardware store, and I stretch the canvas taut onto the particle board.  This step is important because no one wants to paint on a buckled canvas!

After the canvas is stretched, I slather a generous coat of clear Gesso onto the unprimed side.  This keeps the integrity of the natural look while still preparing it for painting.  I let it dry, then I move it onto this easel built especially for this project.  (Thanks, Dr. Foss!)

And I'm set to paint!

When I'm done, I take the canvas to my favorite alteration ladies at ABC Sewing in Homewood.  They sew the top and the bottom so that I can slip a rod into it for hanging.  I then tie some nifty gold-tasseled rope on it, and walah, I have a "scroll" ready to hang in the Children's Sanctuary!


Marisa Petroro said...

Katie...this painting is beautiful! Thank you for sharing your process. xo

Evelyn said...

The finished product looks great and looks like it will stand the test of time. (I thought I recognized that sturdy easel;)

Debbie Green said...

Hi Katie, where do you find the Gesso??