Thursday, February 11, 2010

Stretching Canvas

I was mentioning needing to go over the mountain to the art store in Taos to get some stretcher bars. And a couple of my loyal readers asked what they were. So off to Google to get an image. These are some medium weight ones already put together not unlike Tinker Toys. You buy them in pairs, hopefully. Every artist I know has come home with the odd one from time to time. But if I am going to do a 20 x 24 inch canvas I need two 20 inch stretcher bars and two 24 inch bars.

Yes, you can buy pre-stretched canvas to a wide variety of sizes but not the odd ones. I want to do a couple scale studies for a very large work and by figuring out the ratio decided my studies need to be 10 x 24. Not a size you find pre-stretched. And rather than have my sketches fit my canvas I can have my canvas fit my sketches.

I learned to stretch canvas in college as a fine arts major but I decided to Google that too and found many YouTube videos on the subject. And a few different methods. I learned a few new wrinkles. So I decided to include one here with links to a couple others I watched this morning.

If you are reading this on the Facebook Fan page Link the video will not be posted. Here is the link for How to Stretch Canvas. 

A little side note. On my trip to the art store the clerk shared that she would like to learn how to stretch canvas and I directed her to my blog here and the link to YouTube. When I got back from the store I utilized a couple of the tips I had learned in this video on my newest canvas. They work wonderfully.


  1. Sadly I can't see the video.

    I recall stretchers from art classes at school. Sadly my artistic talent does not lie in paintings. The art mistress gave up on me.

  2. When I did my art course 15 years ago as a part time student, we went through all of the preparation steps for painting and drawing, including grinding pigments, making pain and gesso, preparing canvas and paper, stretching, etc.
    I think artists need to learn much about the materials of their art and preparing them by oneself contributes to the creative process.
    Ends up much cheaper to, rather than buying all ready made!


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