Canvas Stain…please help

Hello, I’m learning how to oil paint using Mark’s method. I recently bought his Geneva canvas stain. 
In the videos regarding canvas stain, he doesn’t specify if this canvas stain goes right onto the raw linen canvas, or if the canvas has been primed first with an acrylic primer, or gesso. Can anyone shed some light on this? I’ve read that if oil goes straight onto linen, it will rot. I don’t want a painting to be ruined by messing up the first step. 

Thanks in advance! 

Comments

  • edited January 3
    Hi, @nic_michaels. Welcome to the forum.  :)

    Definitely prime the canvas first. Otherwise the oil will cause the canvas to rot. A couple of coats of acrylic primer should be ok. 
  • Thanks so much! If I buy pre-primed linen canvas, do you think the canvas stain can go right over that? I appreciate the advice. 
  • Yes, that should be fine. I use pre-primed and have never had a problem with it. 
  • I appreciate it. Love your work as well, as seen in the “post your work” discussion. Thanks again. 
    tassieguy
  • nic_michaels - Welcome to the forum.

    Putting a barrier between the canvas and the oil paint is called sizing. Putting on a couple or three layers of acrylic priming will suffice, as @tassieguy advised. I am more focused on the specific terms because I have seen many new painters make mistakes because they did not understand what different materials do. 

    I always size my substrate, and never by using a ground. I recommend the MITRA site resources as the best English language, free source, of materials information. 
    Abstraction
  • Desertsky said:
    nic_michaels - Welcome to the forum.

    Putting a barrier between the canvas and the oil paint is called sizing. Putting on a couple or three layers of acrylic priming will suffice, as @tassieguy advised. I am more focused on the specific terms because I have seen many new painters make mistakes because they did not understand what different materials do. 

    I always size my substrate, and never by using a ground. I recommend the MITRA site resources as the best English language, free source, of materials information. 
    Great advice, thanks so much for this. Can you explain what you mean by “never using a ground”? 
  • nic_michaels -   A size has no calcium-containing substance, like marble dust, in it. This is because the purpose of a size is to be a barrier - not to be a ground for one's oil paint. A ground is a little absorbent to the oil paint, and if you put on enough layers, each of sufficient thickness, then these multiple layers will effectively act as a barrier.  (How will you know if enough have been applied? and that they are sufficiently thick? etc.)

    The calcium in a ground adds some mechanical roughness to its surface, which helps keep the oil paint secure: this is good.

    Calcium in a ground also greatly increases sinking-in of the oil paint: this is NOT good, but a PIA. The more the ground, the more the calcium, the more the sinking-in. 

    I never use a calcium-containing ground as a barrier-size.

    Again, I recommend the MITRA resources - they have a PDF on grounds which explains much better than I can.  
  • Desertsky said:
    nic_michaels -   A size has no calcium-containing substance, like marble dust, in it. This is because the purpose of a size is to be a barrier - not to be a ground for one's oil paint. A ground is a little absorbent to the oil paint, and if you put on enough layers, each of sufficient thickness, then these multiple layers will effectively act as a barrier.  (How will you know if enough have been applied? and that they are sufficiently thick? etc.)

    The calcium in a ground adds some mechanical roughness to its surface, which helps keep the oil paint secure: this is good.

    Calcium in a ground also greatly increases sinking-in of the oil paint: this is NOT good, but a PIA. The more the ground, the more the calcium, the more the sinking-in. 

    I never use a calcium-containing ground as a barrier-size.

    Again, I recommend the MITRA resources - they have a PDF on grounds which explains much better than I can.  
    Great advice, thanks a lot! 
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