Preparing a canvas for acrylic paint begins by applying a layer of gesso, which is available in a variety of colors and tints. Coat the canvas to make a much smoother painting surface with creative advice from a professional artist in this free video on painting with acrylics.
Hello, my name is Ralph Papa from PapaGallery.com and today we're learning about acrylic painting. In this clip I'm going to show you how to prepare a canvas for acrylic painting. Well to start off with, you're going to use what we call gesso and gesso is an acrylic base for treating a canvas. Now a lot of times you'll just go into a store, an art store and buy a canvas and it's pretreated with gesso and it's usually got one or two coats on it already and sometimes you might want to put a third coat on it. So I'm just going to show you with a regular one inch brush or an inch and a half brush, you can just dip into your gesso and just give it a nice coat. You can also thin it down with water and it'll be a thinner coat but you're just going to just give it a nice even coat. And depending on the size of the canvas would be a good clue as to what size brush you would use. This sort of keeps your paint from getting too absorbed into the cracks of the canvas and when canvas is untreated it's not as good to put paint right onto it, so that's what this does, is it insulates from the canvas threads from your paint. So I'm doing it rather nice and quickly because it already has some coats on it. And then I'd allow that to normally dry for about 5 minutes and if I wanted to I could give it another coat but I would go perpendicular to the last coat so I would go vertical. Now other materials you can paint on and acrylic is very versatile, you can paint on almost anything, clothing, wood, canvas, paper, but the idea is to treat it with an acrylic base, something we call gesso is popular in that area and they also make gesso in different colors, red or black. Here's one that's treated in black to start with so that if you were painting a subject with a black background you don't have to go as far to get your subject done. But if I was going to change my mind and go with a white acrylic, I would just paint over here in a white acrylic and just cover that before I started painting. Once again this has been Ralph Papa and thank you for watching.