Canvas and Surfaces

Canvas and Painting Surfaces are designed to accept and properly support all or specific types of paints. Canvas refers to the woven material that is prepared to accept the media. Canvases can be made from cotton, linen, or synthetic materials. Other types of painting surfaces include canvas boards or panels, hardboard and wooden panels, and paper.

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Common Questions
Cotton Stretched Canvas
Decorative and Miniature

Blick Premier Canvas represents our highest standards of quality and excellence. Every canvas is made by hand to our precise specifications to ensure a superior painting experience for the artist — as well as maximum archival stability and longevity. From the hand-woven, top-grade fabric to the meticulous priming and stretching by hand, supreme care and craftsmanship are taken with every step of their fabrication. This canvas offers exceptional performance at an affordable Blick price.

Blick Studio Canvas offers the perfect combination of quality, economy, and convenience. Built for permanence and stability in applications where a lighter-weight stretcher bar is adequate, it's the ideal Blick canvas for students and hobbyists, as well as professionals doing studies and experiments.

Linen Stretched Canvas
Deep Profile Linen
Traditional Profile Linen

Linen Stretched Canvas is made from woven linen cloth that's been stretched around a wooden frame and secured in the back or on the sides with staples, tacks, or a metal spline. Made from the inner bark of a flax plant, these long fibers produce a strong, flexible, slightly stretchy material that's been known to last for centuries. Due to the method of extracting, processing, and weaving the material for this canvas, it tends to be more expensive than cotton canvas. Stretched linen canvas is available primed with oil ground or acrylic gesso.

Cotton Canvas Rolls
Acrylic Primed Cotton
Unprimed Cotton

Cotton Canvas Rolls are an economical option for artists who want to stretch multiple canvases or canvas sizes not commonly available. Rolls are available in either acrylic-gesso primed or unprimed. It's recommended to purchase a roll several inches wider than at least one side of the desired canvas.

Linen Canvas Rolls
Alkyd Primed Linen
Acrylic Primed Linen
Oil Primed Linen
Unprimed Linen

Linen Canvas Rolls are an economical option for artists who want to stretch canvas in sizes not readily available or artists stretching multiple canvases. Slightly stretchy, linen canvas can be difficult for inexperienced artists to stretch for the first time. Linen canvas rolls are available primed with either acrylic gesso or oil ground or unprimed.

Other Canvas Rolls

Other Canvas Rolls are rolls of woven canvas material other than linen or cotton. These can be natural fibers such as jute, synthetic fibers such as polyester, or a combination of synthetic and natural fibers in the same material. Rolls are available primed or unprimed.

Canvas Questions and Answers



  • What is the difference between Linen and Cotton duck canvas?

    Linen canvas with an oil primer is the classical standard for oil paintings. An acrylic primer, less expensive than oil primer, can be used with either acrylic or oil paints. Linen is difficult to prime and stretch properly, but it offers the smoothest and stiffest painting surface, one with proven longevity.

    Cotton duck canvas is much less expensive than linen, and has become the most popular support for oil and acrylic painting, especially for students. A properly prepared cotton canvas has longevity similar to linen, and is more flexible and easier to stretch properly. However, cotton is considered too flexible for very large paintings. For both oil and acrylic painting, an acrylic gesso primer is generally used.

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  • What are the standard methods for attaching canvas to stretcher bars?

    Side stapling is the least expensive technique for securing the canvas to the stretcher bar, because it uses less canvas. Finished pieces are generally framed to hide the staples.

    Back stapling is a more expensive finishing technique, and it requires more canvas, but it provides more selvage for restretching. Some artists paint on the side as well as the face, creating works that don't require framing.

    Spline finishing is the most expensive finishing technique, and some artists feel that it is not as easy to restretch the canvas as with back stapling. However, many artists choose spline finished canvas because it has a neater appearance than back staples, and is popular with their customers.

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  • Blick Brand Canvas
    Blick Brand Canvas

    At Blick we pride ourselves on our brand name products. We offer the highest quality canvas at the most competitive price. This video will illustrate why Blick Canvas is an excellent choice for any artist at any level - ranging from beginner to professional.

  • How to Prime Cotton Canvas
    How to Prime Cotton Canvas

    Protecting your painting surface from harmful acids is important if you want to ensure the longevity of your artwork. Kati shares some great tips for priming cotton canvas with acrylic gesso for smooth, even coverage.

  • All About Masterpiece Elite Custom Built Artist Canvas
    All About Masterpiece Elite Custom Built Artist Canvas

    These exquisite custom built professional canvases are impeccably stretched upon the finest quality solid wood stretcher bars. Each canvas is hand built, individually numbered and then pre-registered with the Fine Art Registry. The canvas comes with a CD so the artist can register their completed artwork.

  • Masterpiece Canvas Factory Tour
    Masterpiece Canvas Factory Tour

    Get a glimpse into the Masterpiece Canvas factory to see how they've been making high quality canvas for fine artists since 1965.


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