Is it worth buying cheaper canvases?

Part of the appeal of art is that there are no limits or rules around how you choose to create your masterpiece, but there are still some surfaces that make for better mediums than others. Commonly, canvas is used for a wide range of projects, mostly because of its versatility and ability to be stretched over a frame. But did you know that some of these products are made better than others?

In this article, we’re covering off the basics of what you need to know when it comes to choosing the best quality, format and price range for canvases.

It’s all in the detail

Canvas is a type of fabric means it’s not prone to cracking or becoming damaged over time, providing exceptional strength and durability. When you’re hunting around for some of this material, there are a few tell-tale signs that indicate whether it’s worth a pretty penny or not. For example, the texture and weight have a significant impact on how much you’re likely to pay for a piece, while some cheaper options miss out on the well-primed finish that a quality canvas really needs (double-primed vs. triple-primed).

If you’re diving into a project that features lots of detail, woven canvases are always recommended. However, if you’re planning on trying your hand at a bigger, border brush, then try to find a rougher design.

Additionally, you’ll be met with the choice of linen or cotton. While linen is considered ‘the best’ option for its durability, it can incur a heftier price tag. Meanwhile, cotton provides a more affordable alternative for those working with a budget.

What’s most important to note here is that you may need to spend a little more in order to get the desired finish and level of quality that you’re after – but it’s always worth the while.

To stretch or not to stretch

One of the most convenient options on the market these days is pre-stretched canvas. While these aren’t always the cheapest option on the shelf, they’re one of the highest-quality choices you can take your pick from, and we recommend these over other types.

Stretched canvases come in a whole range of sizes and textures, but the biggest benefit of utilising these this kind of material is that they work well with virtually any medium. Whether you’re looking to dabble with acrylic paints or try your hand at watercolours – these products are designed to tick all artistic boxes.

Know your project before you buy

Remember that as an artist – whether for work or play – you have a vision in mind. Picture the end result before you get started and imagine the smaller details in the piece. How do you expect them to look when you have completed your project? Is there a certain finish you want to create? Ultimately, the answers to these questions will also dictate what kind of canvas you’ll need to buy.

Beyond all of these aspects, there are a couple more considerations to keep in mind when you’re mapping out your approach. These include:

  • The quality of the canvas construction. For example, are the corners right angles and are they true to size?
  • How thick your frame is
  • What kind of bracing quality you require
  • The grade of canvas needed for your project.

If you’re unsure what kind is best suited for your needs, we recommend getting in touch the team at our art shop in Bayswater. Head to our contact form here to shoot us a message.

Our Selection

What I love about this brand is that we're creating pieces that are worn over and over. It's not about seasons and we don't work to trends.

Ebony Eagles Auguste's Head Designer & Creative Director