You’d be surprised how many acrylic paint shops don’t know of the benefits of priming. Here is a list of steps on how to prime your canvases.
Tip #1: Don’t paint over the old, dirty canvas!
Painting over the original black on a canvas with a black/white paint makes it look more faded; but it also adds a lot of gloss which means it will take much longer to dry. The best way to start priming is to try it in the very first light – just a few minutes. Don’t paint over the old canvas – just cover it and let it warm up. You don’t need to paint over the edges of the paintings – if everything is dry before you brush on some black paint over the art, you won’t want to have a dark shadow beneath your brush. Also, never paint over an original artwork, because then the paintings will become unevenly balanced. Painting is about creating a balance between the original and the modern – so just be careful.
Tip #2: Paint over the original black!
Painting over the original black also adds texture to the art: it will give the artwork a more mature look. If you are painting over the black with a white paint, paint with a softer brush that won’t stick to the paint. There is no need to paint over a very dark or very bright canvas (although you can use acrylic to soften the paint); because acrylic paints won’t dry as quickly.
Tip #3: Always use a soft paintbrush.
A very hard brush works on canvas (especially if that white paint is hard to work with) so you’ll have better control with that. As you paint, try to paint on as clean a canvas as you can – just keep in mind that not all brushes will paint perfectly smooth. A hard canvas can take longer to dry. If you have to paint with a lot of pressure, always use an adhesive or foam bristle brush for the paint.
Tip #4: Use an adhesive/foam brush!
Do not use a hard brush to paint on canvases. This would be a big mistake! The more pressure you apply to a canvas the more it will stick and damage it. If you use a foam brush, try the same procedure you use with acrylic – paint a small amount of paint onto the brush, apply as much pressure as needed and allow the painter to paint on the canvas. That is more permanent – it’s also the easiest
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