Preparing a canvas for oil painting requires creating the desired surface texture with gesso and sand paper. Prepare a canvas for oil painting with tips from a professional artist in this free video on painting.
In this segment, I'm going to talk about preparing a canvas for oil painting. A canvas like this comes already primed. What that means is, that they've put the gesso on top of the canvas, and done it so that you can actually begin painting. You can begin painting by either leaving it like this, or applying more gesso, and as you can see by this canvas, the texture is a little bit on the rough side. Some people, if they don't want the texture to show in their paintings, would sand this, using a real sander, just some sandpaper, and getting it really, really fine. It makes the surface extremely smooth, making it easier and softer to paint, or what they would do, is they would add more gesso, to create a situation where when they put paint on, it really sticks pretty good. I think the most important thing about painting on a canvas, is that you are comfortable with the texture that you have, so that your paintings can come out the very best, possible.