Keith Ferris – Only 20 Litho’s left!

Stretching the Canvas

Super Sabre Society
Bien Hoa F-100D 440 at Tet, 1968

8/7/2017

Since switching from using self prepared panels almost thirty years ago I have stretched and prepared my own canvases.
Stretching the Canvas is my initial investment in a work, the all important first step in creating a painting. The proportions of the canvas are determined by the preplanned shape of the composition and must provide a permanent stable rigid surface, remain tight as a drum and be prepared with several coatings of acrylic gesso oil painting ground ready to receive the drawing and painting.

I use Fredrix Heavy Duty Pine Stretcher Bars and Fredrix Acrylic Double Primed Antwerp 190DP Pure Linen canvas which comes in six foot by 6 yard rolls.
The following few slides will show the various steps performed in stretching and preparing the canvas.

</p> <h3>The Stretcher Bars</h3> <p>

</p> <h3>Assembly Method</h3> <p>

</p> <h3>Repeat All Four Corners</h3> <p>

</p> <h3>Checking Square</h3> <p>

</p> <h3>Measure the Diagonals</h3> <p>

</p> <h3>If Diagonals Match, Frame is Square</h3> <p>

</p> <h3>Four Temporary Pins Maintain Square</h3> <p>

</p> <h3>Now for the Canvas</h3> <p>

</p> <h3>Three Inches of Canvas Around</h3> <p>

</p> <h3>Measuring for the Cut</h3> <p>

</p> <h3>Drawing the Cut Line</h3> <p>

</p> <h3>Cutting the Canvas</h3> <p>

</p> <h3>Stapler and ½ in Staples</h3> <p>

</p> <h3>1st Staple, Center of 1st long Side</h3> <p>

</p> <h3>Set staple with Small Hammer</h3> <p>

</p> <h3>Move to Center, Opposite Long Side</h3> <p>

</p> <h3>Tighten with Stretcher Tool, Staple # 2</h3> <p>

</p> <h3>First Short Side Center, Staple #3</h3> <p>

</p> <h3>Opposite Short Side, Staple # 4</h3> <p>

</p> <h3>Four Sides Tight, Single Staple Each</h3> <p>

</p> <h3>Working from Center Outward Add Staple Each Side of Original Staple on 1st Long Side</h3> <p>

</p> <h3>Working from Center Outward Add Staple Each Side of Original Staple on 1st Long Side</h3> <p>

</p> <h3>Repeat Process on Opposing Long Side</h3> <p>

</p> <h3>Repeat Process Short Sides in Order</h3> <p>

</p> <h3>Remove temporary pins at corners</h3> <p>

</p> <h3>Canvas pre-fold for square corners</h3> <p>

</p> <h3>Stretch tight for final corner staples</h3> <p>

</p> <h3>Canvas stretching complete</h3> <p>

</p> <h3>Home made Corner Shims</h3> <p>

</p> <h3>Corner Shims in place</h3> <p>

</p> <h3>Canvas Stretched ready for Gesso</h3> <p>

</p> <h3>Beginning the Gesso Process</h3> <p>

</p> <h3>Corner Shims in place</h3> <p>

</p> <h3>Rapidly cover canvas horizontally</h3> <p>

</p> <h3>Beginning the Gesso Process</h3> <p>

</p> <h3>smoothing it out with 2 ½ inch brush</h3> <p>

</p> <h3>I always finish with vertical brush strokes from bottom to top, top to bottom, to avoid reflections and shadows of horizontal brush strokes revealed by overhead lighting .</h3> <p>

</p> <h3>I always finish with vertical brush strokes from bottom to top, top to bottom, to avoid reflections and shadows of horizontal brush strokes revealed by overhead lighting .</h3> <p>

The finished Gessoed Canvas, awaiting the drawing.

For those interested, I use Liquitex Acrylic Gesso for the perfect painting surface.
This Gesso is available in gallon containers from most artist’s supply stores.

For single primed canvas I use two coats of Gesso. For double primed canvas, one coat will usually suffice.

Now off to the drawing!