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The Best Canvases for Oil Painting in 2020

1.     Blick Premier Belgian Linen Canvas

This superior quality surface for oil painting is considered excellent for the artists who are after a luxurious painting experience. It is the ultimate choice for those who are after best archival longevity.  Blick Premier Belgian Linen Canvas offers both superior quality and affordability.

This canvas for oil painting is 100% pure with 4.5% oz medium texture. This handcrafted canvas has been prepared, picked, and pumiced in Belgium. It is then hand coated in the United States, a special technique used by the Old Masters. The hand coating involves three applications of an oil-based, lead-free primer. This is meant to make it reach a 10oz primed weight.

Thereafter, the linen is then back- stapled to kiln-dried stretcher bars. These high-density pine bars are grown in North America. They have an impressive 1-3/8” profile. The frames have tenon corners for added strength. For minor tension adjustments over time, eight keys are included. Then there are the corners of the blanket folds that are meant to assure ease of re-stretching. https://www.dickblick.com/products/blick-premier-belgian-linen-canvas/

Pros

  •         They are versatile.
  •         They are 100% pure Belgian linen.
  •         They are handcrafted.
  •         They are of medium texture.
  •         They are triple coated.
  •         They are 10oz prime weight.
  •         They are of superior quality. They are affordable.
  •         They allow the paints to flow well.
  •         The texture is fine and well-aligned.

Cons

  •         They can shift and adjust over time because of temperature and humidity.
  •         They have too many pinholes.
  •         They are expensive.
  •         Inadequate for landscape work.

2.     Blick Super Value Canvas Packs

These easy on budget canvases for oil painting come in popular sizes. They are made from pure cotton duck canvas 4oz. They are then stretched on a kiln-dried wood frame with 5/8″ profile. Blick Super Value Canvas Packs are primed with three coats of acid-free acrylic gesso. They are ready for painting with acrylic or oil straight from the shelves.

These canvases for oil painting have a prime weight of 8oz. They should be stored vertically when not in use in a climate control room to enhance stability. Changes in temperature and humidity many times cause these canvases to stretch or shift over time because they are made mainly from natural materials.

Blick Super Value Canvas Packs are great for all levels of skills. They can also be used with other mediums and the quality is something to write home about. They are also great for experimenting and its affordability is something that has many customers hooked. https://www.dickblick.com/products/blick-super-value-canvas-packs/

Pros

  •         The pricing is good.
  •         The quality is good enough.
  •         They come in popular sizes.
  •         They are versatile.
  •         They are made from pure cotton duck canvas.
  •         They are primed with three coats.
  •         They are acid-free.
  •         They are ready to paint straight from the shop.
  •         They are perfect for all levels of skills.
  •         They accommodate other mediums.

Cons

  •         If not stored properly, its stability can change.
  •         They can stretch and shift over time.
  •         They are not long-lasting.
  •         Clients complain about unfinished corners.

3.     Masterpiece Tahoe Cotton Canvas

This one strikes a nice balance between medium and heavyweight canvas. It is easier on brushes and it works well with aggressive painting techniques impasto included. Tahoe Cotton Canvas is 100% cotton canvas and heavy at 10 oz. It is triple primed with archival quality acrylic gesso. This gives it a finished weight of 14.6 oz.

Masterpiece Tahoe Cotton Canvas surface is smoother and more supple than other heavyweight canvas. It is both acid-free and PH balanced. The impenetrable primed surface helps prevent the oil from leaching through.

This Cotton Canvas features a 3D profile that helps prevent lines and indentation. It is stretched using the Masterpiece exclusive MuseumWrap method for balanced tension. This makes it 50% tighter than other methods used in other canvases. The corners are uncut and neatly folded to allow re-stretching when necessary.

The edges are clean, paintable, staple-free, and are perfect for a frameless display. These professional-grade canvases for oil painting are manufactured in the United states. https://www.dickblick.com/products/masterpiece-tahoe-cotton-canvas/

 

Pros

  •         The weight is balanced between medium and heavy.
  •         They are triple primed.
  •         They are easy on brushes. They work well with aggressive paints.
  •         The surface is smoother and more supple.
  •         They are acid-free and PH balanced.
  •         The surface is impenetrable thus no leaching.
  •         They have no lines and indentations.
  •         They are 50% tighter than other canvases.
  •         They can be re-stretched.
  •         The edges are clean, paintable, and staple free.
  •         They are professional grades.

Cons

  •         They are a bit pricey.
  •         Not ideal for experimenting and beginners.

The Best Metal Prints Companies in 2020

#1 Pictorem

Pictorem is my #1 favorite printing service, both for professionals like me and for lay-folk that are just using the prints for decorating their home or office.  The quality is outstanding, especially when you utilize the Chromaluxe HD Dye Sublimation Printing.  Pictorem is one of only a few businesses that Chromeluxe deals directly with (and you can’t purchase from Chromalux directly), so its definitely a check in the “plus” column for Pictorem.

They also have lots of artwork and photography to choose from.  Personally I use them to make prints of my own work but if you are looking to browse extremely talented artists and pick up a few pieces, this is the place.  It’s also good that you can support independent artists.

TIP: You can also sell your own work through Pictorem. I highly recommend it if you are a working painter, photographer or visual artist.

The discounts on Pictorem can get really juicy too, last I checked there was a 40% off sale being run.  Keep an eye out for those!

#2 Canvas Champ

Canvas Champ is a great choice for metal prints for home decor or family photos.  I wouldn’t quite recommend it for art gallery quality prints, as that’s not really their target market.  They do, however, do a really good job at the home decor market, including lots of other decorative products, like custom mugs, pillows, blankets, etc.

They always run some serious sales and well, so keep an eye out for those, as they will definitely save you some money.

#3 BumbleJax

BumbleJax is a favorite of many independent photographers.  A US-based operation, they do a lot of different things like Acrylic Prints (their specialty), as well as Canvas and Metal Prints, and even Video production.

Just recently they started providing Chromaluxe HD Metal Prints, like Pictorem above, which gives them a big advantage over most operations.

They are certainly an option for professionals or amateurs, and can provide some really high quality for home decor options as well.

 

How to Stay Away from Cheap Art Commissions?

A lot of artists are struggling to stay relevant and even meet the demands of adult life just by doing art commissions. One of the biggest struggles of artists is to get clients who have a small budget. Art commissions tend to be cheap when you are starting. However, what most don’t know is that you can easily get stuck with this rate even if you have years of experience.

So how do you stay away from cheap commissions? The first thing that you need to do is to establish a good reputation in your niche. You are only getting a high-paying commission if you have an overall good reputation within your niche. Next, you also need to market yourself not as an artist for those clients with a small budget. A lot of artists are using platforms such as Reddit to be able to land a gig. Let’s admit that this won’t be the best step if you want to get high-paying clients. What you want is to build your portfolio and market yourself the way a popular artist would market his or her work. And on top of that, you also have to say no to clients who don’t have the budget.

Pandemic and Struggling Artists

The pandemic has affected a lot of people including artists. Since people are losing their jobs and closing their business, the need for artists also decreased. It is a problem for artists to keep up and to feed their families using only their craft.

How should artists act now that there is a pandemic? Some artists were forced to lower their asking price just to get clients and still be able to do their craft. On the other hand, others decided to work part-time.

Now that people are struggling to make ends meet, there is still room for artists to continue their craft. However, they should be willing to step out of their comfort zone and accept projects that they usually won’t be doing.

It is also important to take the time to build a strong reputation in the niche that you want to grow. You might want to do passion projects and post on different sites that can feature your work. You’ll never know who is going to contact you once they find out about your work. You also want to make sure that you are going to market yourself. Have a website and be sure to make it user-friendly and aesthetically appealing.

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