Stretched canvases usually come pre-gessoed, but the thin gesso layer applied at the factory is usually insufficient to provide the best foundation for subsequent layers of acrylic paint. To prep your canvas properly, plan on applying at least two to three more layers of gesso. (My preference is for three, at minimum.)
Apply your first coat of gesso to the canvas with all brushstrokes laid down horizontally. Let dry thoroughly. (If the surface feels cool to the touch it needs more drying time.)
Once it's completely dry you may sand it very lightly with fine grit sandpaper or a piece of brown paper bag if you wish to paint on a very smooth surface. This step is entirely optional. Before going on to the next step be sure to remove any dust by wiping the surface with a cloth dampened with water then wrung almost completely dry.
Next, apply a coat of gesso in a vertical direction. Allow to dry thoroughly, then sand lightly as above, if desired. Again, remove all traces of dust before proceeding.
The third coat of gesso should be applied in a criss cross fashion. Once dry, you may sand it lightly or not, the choice is yours. Now your canvas is properly prepared, and you are ready to paint.
Due to the Corona virus, the Surface Design workshop has been postponed until this summer. The new date for it will be announced when the Art House re-opens.
JOIN ME AT A WORKSHOP
SURFACE DESIGN WORKSHOP FOR ARTISTS & CRAFTERS
I'll be teaching this one-day workshop on March 14, 2020 at the Art House! Learn to design your own unique papers and other materials for collage, card making, scrap booking, journal making etc. I supply all the materials. All you need to bring is a sack lunch and a beverage. Hours are 10-4; fee is $90 per person. Register online at acworthartsalliance.org/purchase-workshops/classes or call 678-543-5777. Act now! Seating is limited!