venetiancat.com Specializing in the Techniques of the Old Italian and Dutch Masters Julia Passamonti-Colamartino “Artista Straordinaria” * PRESENTS * Priming a Canvas for Oil Painting Preparing a Lead Ground Pt I Materials (Pt 1) • Wooden Canvas Stretchers • Canvas (fine 100% cotton duck) • Rabbit Skin Glue (sizing) • Liquid Nails for wood • Fabric Scissors • Spray bottle with water • Staple Gun • Canvas Stretching Pliers Step 1 • Assemble stretchers, adding a drop of Liquid Nails in the corners to secure frame. Step 2 • Cut canvas about 2 inches larger all around than the frame. Step 3 • Staple the canvas to the back of the frame using only one staple per side. Step 4 • Saturate canvas with water. The allows the fabric to shrink before the final stretching. • Allow to dry. Step 5 • While the canvas is drying, prepare the rabbit skin glue. • Soak granules at a ratio of 16:1. 1Tbsp : 16 Tbsp of water is sufficient for a small canvas (9” x 12”) 2 Tbsp : 32 Tbsp of water for a medium sized canvas (14” x 18”). • SOAK OVERNIGHT so that the beads swell fully. • Once dry, the canvas Step 6 is stretched using canvas pliers. • Staples are placed lengthwise along the perimeter, following the frame. • Corners are neatly folded and stapled as is loose canvas on the back. Canvas is ready for glue size Notice staple placement. Purpose of Glue: • Rabbit skin glue size stiffens, seals and waterproofs the surface of the canvas so that the paint sits on top rather than soaking in. • It smoothes the surface by filling in the fabric, and is impermeable to solvents in oil paint. The next day… • Glue granules have swollen and are ready to be heated in order to liquefy. Step 7 Bowl is placed in a pot with an inch of water and heated. • Glue MUST NOT be allowed to boil, so it is best to use double boiler method. (Notice the great pottery in the background ; ) ) Step 8 • Glue will have a honey- like consistency when ready. • Brush onto canvas, being sure to saturate well. Be sure to include the sides and the folded-over part. It is not necessary to paint the back. • Allow to dry overnight. Step 9 • A second coat of glue is applied the next day. This is heated only to a gel-like consistency (not like honey, as before) and forced into the weave with the palm of the hand. • Glue dissolves with hot water for cleanup. • Allow to dry overnight. Step 10 • Sand once dry using 150 grit extra fine sandpaper. Part II The Lead Ground Remember: Lead is poisonous. Be sure to clean hands immediately upon contact and/or to wear gloves. Lead is most dangerous in a dry state. Be sure to wear a mask if sanding a painted surface. Materials Pt II: • Flake White Oil Paint, (formerly known as Lead White) • Japan Drier • Trowel-Shaped Palette Knife • Disposable Palette Step 1B • Add a few drops of Japan Dryer to Flake White. Japan Drier is important-it will take forever to dry without it. • Using trowel palette knife, mix into the paint well until smooth. • Apply to canvas. Step 2B • Using trowel, spread a thin layer of paint/drier mixture on the canvas surface. Start from the middle and work toward the edges. • Make final smoothing strokes parallel to each other. • Allow to dry overnight. Step 3B • A second coat is added once the first coat has dried for 24 hours. • The second coat is applied from the center and smoothed in straight rows perpendicular to the first layer • Allow to dry overnight. Finishing Up: • Sand in between coats if necessary, using extra fine 150 grit sandpaper and a mask. Lead paint is at its most dangerous in a powdered state! • Allow canvas to dry for at least one week. • Repeat the process 1 or 2 more times, with each successive coat perpendicular to the first, until the canvas surface is as smooth as desired. YOU ARE NOW READY TO BEGIN PAINTING!