This article has been written to help you expand your awareness regarding the different materials that your chosen painting will be painted on. Why is this important? Well in my opinion it is always important to understand exactly what you are buying when it comes to art. It is also important to know how heavy the painting is so that when you come to hang it, it won’t tare the plaster off your wall. If you know what your painting is painted on then you will understand how heavy it is before you buy it.
The most common material that paintings are painted on is a form of fabric. Canvas is the most common the reasons being are that canvas allows the brush to flow in a controlled manner and the artist’s desired effects with a brush are easier to translate onto canvas than onto less user friendly materials.
Compared to a material like wood, canvas is light, it is also compact before it is stretched which makes it easy to store for an artist. Canvas can also be re-stretched once painted. This means that large canvases can be easily transported and then once at their destination, be stretched onto either a new frame the same size as the old frame or onto the existing frame.
The word “Canvas” can be used loosely on art websites and high street galleries. Sometimes canvas can mean calico or Hessian which visually are different. Calico is very finely woven which gives almost no texture or depth to a painting. Hessian on the other hand is very loosely woven and is the cheapest fabric to use for painting. Be warned that if a painting is painted on Hessian there can be spots that paint doesn’t get to. The finished effect can look bad. Some artists use it on purpose to purposely get a desired effect.
Some paintings are on wood, but this is very rare and wood is heavy so think hard before buying a painting which has been painted on wood.
So when you see the word “Canvas” at an online gallery or high street gallery make sure you find out whether it is Canvas or whether it is a poorer quality fabric like Hessian or Calico. At Allbuyart.com we state next to each painting for sale whether it is Canvas, Hessian or Calico.