Tagged: painting

Plein-air painting of people sitting on bench during daytime

How to Varnish Your Canvas Paintings: Expert Tips for Artists

Varnishing your canvas paintings is an essential step in preserving and enhancing your artwork. A well-applied varnish can protect your painting from dust, UV rays, and environmental pollutants, while also enriching its colors and providing a professional finish. Here are some expert tips on how to varnish your canvas paintings effectively.

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stretcher bars for painting canvases

Understanding Stretcher Bars: Price, Value, and Worth

Stretcher bars play a crucial role in the life of any painting, providing the foundational support that ensures your canvas remains taut and your artwork looks its best. Whether you are an amateur or a professional painter, understanding the price, value, and worth of stretcher bars is essential for making informed decisions about your art supplies.

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8 Useful Tips to Organize your Art Studio

Painting is a wonderfully fulfilling endeavor, but it often comes with its own set of challenges, one of which is maintaining an organized art studio. A cluttered and chaotic workspace can hinder creativity and productivity, making it difficult to focus on your artistic pursuits. However, with a few simple tips and tricks, you can transform your art studio into a well-organized space that inspires creativity and productivity. Here are some valuable tips for keeping your art studio organized:

1. Designate areas. Start by dividing your art studio into different zones based on the type of activities you engage in. For example, create a painting zone, a drawing zone, a storage zone for art supplies, and a relaxation zone for taking breaks. This helps create a sense of order and makes it easier to find what you need when you need it.

2. Invest in storage solutions. Use storage solutions such as movable racks, shelves, cabinets, drawers, and storage bins to keep your art supplies neatly organized and easily accessible. Consider using clear containers or labeled bins to store smaller items like brushes, pencils, and tubes of paint, making it easier to locate them when you need them.

3. Keep your workspace clutter-free. Make it a habit to clean and declutter your workspace regularly. Clear off your work surface at the end of each day and put away any supplies or tools that are not in use. This not only creates a more inviting and organized workspace but also helps prevent accidents and damage to your artwork.

4. Create a system for organizing tools and materials. Develop a system for organizing your tools and materials based on frequency of use or type of medium. Keep frequently used items within arm’s reach and less frequently used items stored away in designated areas. This will streamline your workflow and make it easier to find what you need when inspiration strikes.

5. Label everything. Labeling is your best friend when it comes to keeping your art studio organized. It’s a tedious process, but very valuable in the long run. Use labels to identify the contents of storage bins, drawers, and cabinets, making it easy to locate specific items quickly. Consider using a color-coded system for even greater organization and efficiency.

6. Utilize vertical space. Most artists don’t have the luxury of having a big studio. Make the most of your studio space by utilizing vertical storage solutions such as wall-mounted shelves, pegboards, and hooks. These space-saving options allow you to maximize storage capacity without taking up valuable floor space, keeping your studio tidy and clutter-free.

7. Establish a cleaning routine. Set aside time each week to clean and organize your art studio. Wipe down surfaces, sweep or vacuum the floors, and put away any stray supplies or tools. A regular cleaning routine not only keeps your studio looking its best but also helps maintain a healthy and productive work environment.

8. Embrace digital organization. In addition to physical organization, consider utilizing digital tools and software to keep track of your artwork, reference materials, and inspiration. Use apps or software programs to catalog your artwork, organize reference images, and jot down ideas and notes. This digital organization system can help streamline your creative process and keep your studio clutter-free.

By implementing these tips and establishing good habits, you can create an art studio that is not only organized and efficient but also conducive to creativity and inspiration. With a well-organized workspace, you can focus more fully on your artistic pursuits and bring your creative visions to life with ease.

Cheap Canvas vs Expensive Canvas

When it comes to the world of art, the canvas serves as a foundation upon which artists bring their visions to life. Whether it’s a masterpiece destined for a museum or a personal creation meant to adorn a living room wall, the choice of canvas can significantly impact the final outcome of a painting. In this blog, we’ll explore the differences between using a cheap canvas versus an expensive one and how each choice influences the artistic process and the resulting artwork.

First, the quality of the materials used in the construction of a canvas can vary greatly between cheap and expensive options. Cheap canvases are often made with lower-grade materials, such as synthetic fibers or thinly stretched cotton, which may lack durability and stability over time.

Blank Canvas For Painting
Blank Canvas For Painting

On the other hand, expensive canvases are typically crafted from high-quality materials, such as linen or heavyweight cotton, which offer superior strength and longevity. Stretcher bars, or the frame that holds the canvas, in expensive canvases are made from sturdy, solid wood that will not break easily. This ensures that the fabric remains intact and will not sag in the future. All of CanvasLot canvases are made from high quality and heavy duty materials from the fabric to the wood frame.

This difference in material quality can have significant consequences for the longevity of the artwork. Paintings on cheap canvases are more prone to warping, sagging, and deterioration over time.

The surface texture of the canvas can greatly impact the painting process and the final appearance of the artwork. Cheap canvases often have a rough, uneven texture that can interfere with brush strokes and impede the artist’s ability to achieve fine details and smooth transitions.

Custom artist canvases
Custom artist canvases

In contrast, expensive canvases typically feature a smoother, more finely woven surface that provides greater control and precision for the artist. This difference in texture can result in paintings with more refined and polished finishes, making them visually more appealing and aesthetically pleasing.

In addition to material quality and surface texture, the stretching and priming of the canvas also play a crucial role in determining its suitability for painting. Cheap canvases are often poorly stretched, with loose or uneven tension, which can create distortions and irregularities in the finished artwork. Also, cheap canvases may be inadequately primed or primed with low-quality gesso, resulting in poor paint adhesion and color saturation.

Meanwhile, expensive canvases are meticulously stretched to achieve optimal tension and primed with high-quality gesso, providing a smooth and stable surface for painting. This superior stretching and priming process ensures that the canvas remains taut and durable throughout the painting process, allowing the artist to work with confidence and precision.

Finally, the cost of a canvas can also reflect the level of craftsmanship and attention to detail that went into its production. Cheap canvases are typically mass-produced using automated processes, resulting in inconsistencies and flaws that can lower the overall quality of the artwork.

Expensive canvases are often handcrafted by skilled artisans who take pride in their workmanship and strive to create a superior product. While expensive canvases may come with a higher price tag, they offer greater value in terms of durability, performance, and aesthetic appeal.

Custom Stretched Canvas
Custom Stretched Canvas

Which canvas to choose?

The choice between using a cheap canvas and an expensive one can have a significant impact on the artistic process and the final outcome of a painting. Cheap canvases may offer a more affordable option, but they often sacrifice quality, durability, and performance.

On the other hand, expensive canvases provide superior materials, surface texture, stretching, priming, and craftsmanship, resulting in paintings of higher quality and longevity. Ultimately, investing in an expensive canvas is not just a matter of price, but a commitment to the integrity and longevity of the artwork.

Should I Stretch My Own Canvas?

Embarking on a painting journey is an adventure filled with boundless creativity and artistic exploration. Yet, before we can unleash our brushes upon the canvas, an important decision must be made—do we purchase a pre-stretched canvas or stretch the canvas ourselves?

There are pros and cons to stretching your own canvas and buying a pre-stretched canvas.

Stretching your own canvas

Canvas rolls in an art studio
Canvas rolls in an art studio


1. Cost-effective. Artists stretch their own canvas for the savings they will incur in the long run. You remove the cost paid for professional services, but keep in mind that you have to buy in bulk in the beginning (canvas rolls, stretcher bars, tools, etc.).

2. Personalization. Stretching your own canvas gives you the freedom to customize the canvas according to your preferences and artistic vision. You have complete control over the materials that will  be used in your canvas.

3. Additional learning. Most artists can learn how to stretch a canvas. It will be challenging at first, but it’s a valuable learning experience.


1. Time consuming. As with other DIY projects, stretching a canvas can be time-consuming, especially for beginners. Think about whether the savings is worth the time you’ll spend in the stretching process.

2. Skill. It’s a learned skill to stretch a canvas. An Internet search on tutorials on how to stretch a canvas may help you, but it’s better to have proper guidance from an experienced artist or craftsman.

3. Space. You need to have ample space to stretch a canvas.

Buying Pre-stretched Canvas

Several sizes of pre-stretched canvases
Several sizes of pre-stretched canvases


1. Time-saving. Buying  a pre-stretched canvas frees you from the laborious task of stretching and priming, allowing you to devote more time to the creative process itself.

2. Convenient. A pre-stretched canvas gives you the simplicity of a ready-to-use surface. Whether you’re painting in the comfort of your studio or amidst the hustle and bustle of a plein air adventure, a pre-stretched canvas is a portable, hassle-free companion that empowers you to create wherever inspiration strikes.

3. High quality. Pre-stretched canvases are crafted with care and precision, ensuring a professional-quality surface. They provide a stable foundation that resists warping and sagging, preserving your artwork for generations to come.


1. Limited sizes. Off-the-shelf canvases may be limited in size and you might not find the right canvas that you need. But, there are shops like CanvasLot that offers custom-sized canvases from 6 inches up to 12 feet.

2. Changes in surface tension. Temperature changes, improper handling, vibrations are a few factors that affect the surface tension of a pre-stretched canvas.

Final word: Should you stretch your own canvas?

Whether you’re working with your own stretched canvas or a pre-stretched one, there are advantages to both options. If you’re working on large paintings regularly, stretching your canvas have its perks. But, if you paint once in a while, or you like to create small and medium artwork, then pre-stretched canvases are for you.

Painter's palette

Which is the Best Canvas for Acrylic Painting?

Selecting the perfect canvas for your acrylic masterpiece can be likened to choosing the ideal brushstroke—each decision shapes the final outcome. With a lot of options available, from stretched to unprimed, finding the best quality canvas can feel like navigating a labyrinth of artistic choices.

To help you choose the best canvas for your acrylic painting, here are three factors to consider:

Fabric. Painting canvases are commonly made from two materials–linen and cotton. Artists agree that linen canvas is the better canvas compared to cotton because of its durability and archival quality.

Cotton, on the other hand, provides a softer and smoother surface than linen. It’s also more accessible and budget-friendly. All of CanvasLot’s canvases are made from 100% cotton.

To know more about the difference between a linen and cotton canvas, read the article: Painting on Linen vs Cotton Canvas

Prime or Umprimed. Priming a canvas gives you a smooth surface to paint on and helps prevent it from rotting. Most canvases are pre-primed with gesso to save you time and effort.  Acrylic paint adheres better on a primed canvas and the paint will not sink into the canvas. All of CanvasLot’s canvas surfaces are double primed with acid-free acrylic gesso ready to be painted on.

If you enjoy preparing your canvas from scratch, you can choose an unprimed canvas and apply gesso yourself.

Custom-sized canvases from CanvasLot
Custom-sized canvases from CanvasLot

Types of Canvases. There are several types of canvases available in the market, each catering to different skill level, painting style, budget and desired outcome.

  • Stretched canvas – A stretched canvas is one of the most popular types of canvas for acrylic painting. The fabric (either linen or cotton) is stretched over and stapled on a wooden frame called stretcher bars.
  • Canvas panels – A more affordable alternative to stretched canvas, canvas panels are usually made from cotton that is mounted onto a rigid board. It is thinner, more portable and is a good choice for beginners.
  • Canvas papers – These are sheets of primed canvas that are bound together as a pad or book. Another budget-friendly option that’s ideal for students and novice artists.
  • Canvas rolls – A canvas roll is usually used used when creating large paintings. It is made from linen or cotton and comes in different weights, textures and fibers. You can get it primed or unprimed. Sold by yard, canvas rolls are on the expensive side of canvases. This option is ideal for an experienced painter.

In conclusion, the best canvas for acrylic painting depends on your personal preferences, skill level and budget. Whether you prefer the convenience of pre-primed canvases or the tactile allure of unprimed linen, selecting the perfect canvas is an important step in bringing your artistic vision to life.

Want to know more about canvases for painting? Contact us and we’ll gladly answer your questions.

6 Factors to Consider When Photographing Your Paintings

Creating a masterpiece on canvas takes time, skill, and passion. But what good is your stunning artwork if you can’t capture its brilliance on camera? As a proud creator of art, it’s natural for you to show it to the world.

Whether you’re photographing your paintings for personal satisfaction, art shows, or grants, here are some factors to consider to hopefully help you capture the beauty of your work like a pro!

1. Lighting. Like a painting itself, lighting can make or break your photograph. Indirect, natural light is your best friend, so position your artwork near a window or in a well-lit room. Beware of harsh sunlight though—it can cast unwelcome glares and distort colors.

If you’re pressed for time and the weather isn’t cooperating, you can use two artificial lights such as flashlights or table lamps. A simple triangle setup will be useful in reducing shadows on your photos. Place the lights between the canvas and the camera with the lights pointing at a 45-degree angle towards the painting. The camera should be behind the lights.

Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash
Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

2. Position. Hang your painting on a neutral colored wall (black, white, gray). Make the center of the artwork parallel to the position of your camera. A tripod is useful to get good shots, especially if you’re photographing several paintings.

3. Composition. Tell a story with your photos. If you’re tired of taking 2-D images of your paintings, try including props (art materials), changing angles, or let someone else take a picture of you working on your artwork. Experiment and see which photos work for you.

4. Background. Your artwork is the star of the show, so don’t let a cluttered background steal its thunder. Clear the space around your painting of distractions—coffee cups, stray brushes, or that rogue sock—and let your canvas art shine in all its glory.

5. Camera settings. Ensure your camera’s focus is razor-sharp on every brushstroke and color gradient. Take your time to adjust the focus manually if needed, and don’t be afraid to zoom in for those intricate details. Your painting’s precision deserves nothing less than crystal-clear perfection.

6. Editing. Taking a photo of your painting doesn’t end once the photo is snapped. If you’re on a budget, there are free and inexpensive photo editing software that you can use to edit your photos. With these programs, you can do minor adjustments, crop the photo, adjust the color and contrast, and remove impurities.

Hope these will help you capture the beauty of your paintings and how you represent yourself professionally. Of course, there are other factors to consider when photographing your paintings, but these six are the basic and are a good starting point.

How Austin’s Painters Connect with Clients

In the vibrant artistic community of Austin, TX, painters thrive on a diverse array of commission projects that fuel their creativity and sustain their livelihoods. From murals adorning city walls to personalized portraits capturing cherished memories, artists in Austin use various strategies to secure commission work and establish meaningful connections with clients.

Here’s how Austin artists find commission projects:

Networking. Start locally. Connections within the local art scene is important in establishing your mark in the industry. Austin boasts a rich cultural landscape teeming with galleries, art festivals, and community events, providing ample opportunities for artists to showcase their work and forge connections with potential clients.

By actively participating in exhibitions and engaging with fellow artists and art enthusiasts, painters can expand their professional networks and attract the attention of individuals seeking commissioned artwork.

Networking is also a great way to discuss about canvas suppliers, paint brands, and painting tips and techniques.

Social media. Everybody uses social media for personal and professional needs.  Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok plays an essential role in connecting Austin’s painters with commission projects.

With social media, Austin artists share their portfolios, behind-the-scenes glimpses of their work in progress, and promote their services to a wide audience. Through strategic use of hashtags, targeted outreach, and engaging content, painters can cultivate an online presence that resonates with potential clients and generates inquiries for commission work.

Photo by MJ Tangonan on Unsplash

Collaboration. Artists in Austin often collaborate with local businesses, organizations, and homeowners to bring their artistic visions to life through commissioned paintings and installations.

From coffee shops and restaurants to schools and community centers, establishments across Austin embrace the transformative power of art to enhance their spaces and engage with their patrons.

By proactively reaching out to businesses and pitching their ideas for custom artwork, painters can secure commission projects that not only showcase their talents but also contribute to the cultural fabric of the city.

Referrals. Satisfied clients serve as valuable source of commission projects for painters in Austin. They are often eager to recommend the artist to friends, family, and colleagues seeking similar services.

In addition to providing beautiful canvas art, artists maintain positive relationships with clients and provide good customer service since a sale of an artwork doesn’t end at the installation of the painting.

These are just a few ways how artists in Austin get commission work. In this thriving artistic hub, commission projects serve not only as opportunities for painters to showcase their talents but also as a tool for enriching the cultural tapestry of Austin.


How Artists Can Find Clients for Commission Projects

Photo by Ahmed Raza Kz on Unsplash

In the art industry, securing commission projects stands as an endeavor for artists aiming to sustain their craft and build a thriving career. Yet, in a landscape saturated with talent, navigating the path to finding clients can be challenging. However, with strategic approaches and a proactive mindset, artists can effectively connect with potential clients and secure commission projects.

  • Cultivate an online presence. Establishing a professional website or portfolio on online platforms can showcase past work, artistic style, and contact information. Social media also provide additional avenues for artists to share their creations, engage with a broader audience, and attract potential clients through visual storytelling and networking.
  • Online artist communities. Actively participating in online artist communities and forums can expand an artist’s reach and visibility. DeviantArt or Reddit offer spaces for artists to share their work, receive feedback, and connect with like-minded individuals. Engaging with these communities not only fosters a sense of belonging but also opens doors to collaboration opportunities and client referrals.
Photo by Michał Parzuchowski on Unsplash
  • Local art shows and fairs. These events provide valuable exposure and networking opportunities within the artist’s community. Artists can showcase their work directly to potential clients, art enthusiasts, and industry professionals. Building relationships with local businesses, galleries, and art organizations can also lead to commission opportunities through referrals and partnerships.
  • Word-of-mouth marketing. This strategy is free! Satisfied clients can become powerful advocates for an artist’s work, spreading recommendations and referrals to their networks. Remember that your relationship with a client doesn’t end upon sale. You should provide exceptional customer service, maintain open communication, and deliver high-quality work to cultivate positive relationships and generate repeat business and referrals.
  • Seek out potential clients. Look for businesses, organizations, and individuals who may require commissioned artwork aligned with your style and expertise. Write personalized pitches and proposals that demonstrate an understanding of the potential client’s needs and vision to significantly increase the likelihood of securing commission projects.

Finding clients for commission projects may present challenges, but maintaining a dedication to your craft and adopting these approaches can help you establish yourself as sought-after painters and cultivate a thriving career in the competitive world of arts.

Where to Get Custom-sized Canvases?

At CanvasLot, we understand the importance of a canvas that complements your artistic vision. Our hand-stretched, custom-sized canvases are designed with the artist in mind, providing a blank slate for your imagination to unfold.

Why buy canvases from CanvasLot?

  • Custom-sized canvases. Our canvases can be custom-sized according to your needs. We offer small canvases for your minis and large canvases of up to 12ft.
  • High-quality surface. Our canvases have a sturdy and durable surface that can withstand the rigors of the painting process, including multiple layers of paint, blending, and reworking. This durability ensures that your artwork will stand the test of time without warping or deteriorating.

  • Any stretcher bar depth. We offer many different stretcher bar depth (thickness) for your canvas. Order online and get your custom-stretched canvas with the exact size that you need.
  • Hand-stretched to perfection. Our canvases are tightly stretched, especially in the corners, to give you the perfect tension when painting. You wouldn’t want your canvas to be sagging later and ruining your art.
  • Heavy-duty wood frame. We provide high quality and tightly-stretched canvases supported by heavy duty solid wood frame. We’ve been working with artists to provide canvases that professionals and enthusiasts will love.
  • Elegant reusable wood case with double wall cardboard. Protect and deliver the finished artwork to your clients in a professional wood frame case with double wall cardboard, custom built for the canvas. The wood case is also made from the same heavy duty hardwood and will last as long as the canvases come in it.

  • Back-stapled. All of our canvases are gallery-wrapped and back-stapled for a classic and elegant look. The canvas is tightly stretched and folded over the frame and is secured with staples on the back.
  • Free shipping. We deliver nationwide for free!

Looking for a canvas that reflects your unique style? Check out our website, Canvaslot.com, where we offer custom-sized canvas options tailored specifically to your preferences.