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Homesthetics

Best Canvas for Acrylic Painting | Student & Artist Grade

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The canvas is the cornerstone of any painter’s journey with their art.

Being such a critical part of your progression as an artist, it’s crucial to know which canvas is the best suited for your particular usage. The adage “different strokes for different folks” also holds well for choosing canvases.

To make your job of scouring through hundreds or even thousands of canvases on the market today easier, we’ll walk you through the top ten canvases for acrylic paints. We then follow our reviews up with a small guide on how to choose the best canvases for your art style and work.

Without wasting much time, we’ll now move towards reviewing the first canvas on our list!

Best Canvas for Acrylic Reviewed

  1. Blick Premiere Cotton Canvas

While most of us know Blick from their popular online art and craft supplies store, it might be a surprise to note that they manufacture their own supplies as well. And in fact, they do it very well. This particular canvas is completely woven by hand, and the surface is perfect for painting with acrylic paints. It’s a 12×12 woven canvas with the cotton being derived from India.

Experience

Blick has left no stone unturned in making sure this canvas has nothing to lose when compared to the best in the business, and that too with a more affordable price. The canvas is gallery-wrapped and back-stapled with uncut corners and a large amount of selvage, allowing you to re-stretch the canvas in the future. For tension adjustments, keys come as standard.

It comes in three different profiles: .875″, 1.5″, and 2.375″, thus giving you a huge boost when it comes to displays. These are useful when you want to display your works in studios, museums or galleries. The canvas weighs around 10 oz when it’s pre-primed, and once primed it weighs around 15 oz. It’s triple-primed with a high-quality, acid-free gesso.

The priming process includes being sanded between primer layers, which makes for a fairly smooth surface with a good enough tooth for most art uses. What’s more, the entire range of All large Blick canvases come with supports as standard. The wood quality and woodwork are also wonderful – all in all, it’s a brilliant and value-for-money canvas for all your painting needs.

Pros
  • Comes with a high-quality triple-primed canvas, with a great tooth quality
  • Three different profiles available as per intended usage
  • Canvas material is super smooth to work with
Cons
  • Raw corners may not be suited to everyone’s tastes

Read Other Artist Feedback>>

  1. Arteza Stretched White Canvas

A little bit farther from the fully professional Blick reviewed above, Arteza is a name renowned in the student and hobby artist community – instead of delivering the best of the best, it gives you a relatively very affordable yet decent quality of the canvas. They become even more affordable when it comes to bulk ordering – and if you’re not satisfied, they offer full refunds.

Arteza 11x14” Stretched White Blank Canvas, Bulk Pack of...
  • Cotton Surface Ideal for Many Types of Media: Your stretched...
  • Sturdily Constructed: These stretched canvas are stretched...
  • Primed & Ready to Go: Each large stretched canvas in this...
  • An Inspiring Gift: Want to surprise your favorite artist or...

Experience

Well, looks like you won’t be needing a refund any time soon – the Arteza Stretched Canvas in White is a solid performer, any way you look at it. First off, there’s the material – it’s 100 percent cotton, and comes with a good quality acid-free acrylic gesso. The canvas comes pre-stretched, and hence you have a nice, light spring for your brush.

It’s an 11” x 14” size canvas, which is perfect for almost any student or hobby artist. It always comes in packs and is extremely well priced when it comes to per-unit cost. The wood used is pinewood and is back-stapled to ensure the canvas sticks well. The gesso layering is about 8 oz. It also comes in a number of other sizes as well, and the smaller sizes are cheaper still.

Your paints will glide on the surface, and thus the canvas responds to each stroke of the brush. This gives you a great surface to paint on – except if you’re a professional artist. Then the surface is much rougher and comes with a harder tooth than you’re used to. Other than that, the Arteza is a universally usable, decent quality product which comes with great value for money.

Pros
  • Best value and quality combination for students and intermediate hobbyists
  • 100%  cotton surface that responds well to your strokes
  • Decent sized canvas for all your painting needs
Cons
  • Might be too rough for professional painters

Read Other Artist Feedback>>

  1. Darice Stretched Canvas

If you’re looking for a canvas which comes with a bit more panache than the Arteza, yet do not want to wander into full professional territory, the Darice Stretched Canvas presents a great compromise, and that too at a wonderful price. It comes in a huge variety of sizes and packs: right from the smallest 8” x 10” in a single pack to a 30” x 40” pack of 40.

Sale
Darice Studio 71 24-Inch-by-48-Inch Gallery Canvas
  • GALLERY CANVAS - Every masterpiece begins on a blank slate,...
  • VERSATILE - This medium weight canvas on a wood frame is...
  • TRIPLE ACRYLIC PRIMED - Being triple acrylic primed results...
  • AFFORDABLE - This large, gallery-style canvas is affordable...

Experience

Darice presents a slightly different take to the canvas. Instead of having just one size in packs, they have a whole range of sizes to suit each and every artist. These are acid-free, medium weight canvases which are double primed (you might notice that the Arteza was single-primed, while the Blick was triple-primed and sanded). It’s much lighter than the Blick, however.

The material choice is also great – it’s 100 percent decent quality cotton, again slotting in somewhere between the Blick and the Arteza in terms of smoothness and the tooth of the canvas. The best part is, it’s lighter than either and also comes with wood stretcher keys to help you tighten the canvas. The thickness is approximately an inch, give or take.

Darice has been around starting off with a single store in 1954 and then expanding all over. Now, it’s an internationally renowned brand – and their products are definitely of a good standard. A number of people have reviewed this as being solid enough and toothy enough for their artwork, and in all but the most professional uses the canvas finds work.

Pros
  • Double primed canvas which is also lightweight yet high quality
  • The cotton is smooth enough for most uses
  • Good value for money when you buy larger packs
Cons
  • Some users complain of issues with stapling and some tightness problems at times

Read Other Artist Feedback>>

  1. Masterpiece Artist Canvas – Monet Pro

Once you go full professional, you wouldn’t be willing to make compromises which you did as a hobbyist or as a student. Hence, we present to you the Monet Pro, named after the Impressionist pioneer. Coming in with a double primed surface, a cross brace and no finger joints to avoid chances of breakage over time, the Monet Pro is a wonderful canvas.

Masterpiece Artist Canvas 44272 Monet Pro 1-1/2" Deep, 40" x...
  • Pure Belgian Linen, 12 oz finished weight. Naturally strong...
  • Sized and double primed with archival quality acrylic gesso.
  • Canvas Depth: 2-1/2", Canvas relief: 1/2" (Space between...
  • Solid Pine or Fir Stretcher Bars from the sustainable...

Experience

Masterpiece has been around in the market for years now, and the one thing that sums their art supplies is the phrase “no compromises”. Whether it’s the quality of the raw materials, or the design and finishing of their products – they do not look the other way for even the smallest of details. This holds true for this product as well – it’s easily one of the best canvases reviewed.

First, we come to the canvas surface. It is double primed, and has just the right amount of tooth and undulation for acrylic paints to flow when being painted, but at the same time, stick to the surface when dried. There is another proprietary smoothing process for the surface, making sure you get the best possible painting experience on the canvas.

Other important features include an adjustable tension, and a best-in-class stretching process. The cross brace at the back for sizes over 16 inches helps ensure stability. For those who are environmentally conscious, the canvas is made from sustainably sourced wood. This is a lightweight, classy canvas that guarantees one of the best possible painting experiences.

Pros
  • Comes with a cross brace instead of finger joints to hold the canvas, tightest corners of all canvases tested
  • Environmentally conscious manufacturing
  • Double primed, extra processing to ensure super smooth painting
Cons
  • Priced on the higher end

Read Other Artist Feedback>>

  1. Daveliou Stretched Canvas

Coming back to the humble hobbyist and student – if you’re looking for the best possible compromise between value and quality, the Daveliou is one of our top picks. The edges are staple free, and Daveliou use their own gesso for priming the canvas – making sure that your painting experience is a joyous one. These frames also stay clean until use!

Daveliou Stretched Canvas 12x12” - Blank Framed Canvas for...
  • THESE VERSATILE INDIVIDUALLY WRAPPED PLAIN WHITE CANVAS...
  • IDEAL FOR ALL TYPES OF MEDIA - Daveliou large stretched...
  • PREMIUM-GRADE STRETCHED FRAMES This high-quality surface...
  • UNLEASH YOUR CREATIVITY on these ready-to-go blank canvas...

Experience

The canvas is a perfect mix of value and performance – coming in at a highly reasonable price point, given that it does not have regular staples holding the canvas together. The frame itself is around ⅝” thick, and comes as standard with a triple priming process already complete. You do not have to spend a single moment in preparation or setting up – this one comes ready as it is.

The canvas comes prepared with a non-yellowing agent, which allows it to stay clean for as long as you wish for it to – it does not get yellowed with time. It is lightweight enough to be carried around from place to place, even though it comes triple primed. Their gesso is also cruelty-free and vegan. The canvas comes in three different sizes – 8″ x 10”, 11″ x 14″ and 16″ x 20″.

A number of media including oil, acrylic, casein, tempera and collage media are at home with this canvas, so you can easily create mixed media artwork if you wish to.

Pros
  • Perfect value/performance ratio
  • Lightweight
  • Come Standard with a triple priming process already done
Cons
  • None

Read Other Artist Feedback>>

  1. US Art Supply Black Stretched Canvas

This canvas is specifically for those who intend to work with a pitch black backdrop, and yet need a wonderful painting experience. A little bit off center, this canvas delivers a solid painting experience with acrylic paints as well as other media. Though it’s made out of black fabric, make no mistake – it can easily stand its own among the hordes of canvases out there.

US Art Supply 18 x 24 inch Black Professional Quality Acid...
  • Ideal for use with all acrylics, oils and other painting...
  • 3/4 inch Profile - Back stapled with staple free edges
  • Triple primed with acid-free acrylic gesso
  • Hand Stretched Over Kiln-Dried Stretcher Bars from...

Experience

This canvas is incredibly good for painting those night skies, planets, or galactic scenes from outer space. However, the world is your oyster – since this canvas delivers a wonderful overall performance, with a triple primed satin-smooth surface and coming with sustainably derived wood. The canvas also does not cost all that much relative to other canvases on the market.

Even though this is triple-primed, we suggest students also consider this because of its affordability and the great performance it delivers. It comes with a profile of around ¾” and the gesso used to prime the surface is acid-free high-quality gesso. It weighs around 7 ounces unprimed and 12 ounces once triple-primed.

The stapling is done on the back of the canvas, with the edges having no staples on it. The canvas isn’t dyed black but instead comes pre-painted since there are no paints on the back side of the canvas. Overall, barring a few issues with the tightness of the canvas, this is a perfectly good canvas to paint on with acrylic paints.

Pros
  • Comes pre-painted black, spares you the effort of having to paint the canvas yourself
  • Triple primed for a smooth painting experience
  • High-quality gesso being used
Cons
  • A few artists report that the canvas loosened over time

Read Other Artist Feedback>>

  1. Art Alternatives Stretched Canvas

If you’re looking for a compact enough canvas to hang on the wall once you’re done painting, the best bet you have is the Stretched Canvas by Alt Alternatives. It comes primed, but there’s no bleaching to speak of. Though it requires some prep unlike many others reviewed, it presents a great value for money proposition, especially for those just beginning with acrylic paint.

Sale
Art Alternatives stretched White Canvas Super Value Pack-8...
  • Art Alternatives Unbleached 4 oz cotton canvas for all media
  • Primed with acid-free gesso-ready to paint, collage, draw,...
  • Back-stapled for a clean look-ready to hang and comes in...
  • Suitable for oil-acrylic-alkyd painting and can be used with...

Experience

While this comes unprimed, you can easily use this to learn how to prime a canvas or prime it to your particular convenience if you’re experienced with painting on canvas. It comes in a number of size options, but the usual recommended size is 11” x 14”. The canvas is just half an inch wide, so you can easily hang them up once you’re finished. The cotton comes unbleached.

The canvas has a natural and untarnished look and feel. For beginners who want to understand how to prime your own surface, they can easily learn on these canvases since they’re pretty affordable. Unlike other surfaces, you’re in charge here – so how toothy or harsh the surface depends entirely on how well you prime the surface. The corners are completely square.

The canvas is gallery wrapped, so you can easily paint on the sides as well. The canvas comes plastic wrapped individually, as well as the entire shipment of the pack. The weave of the canvas is somewhat visible with the original gesso – easily fixable a couple of extra layers of paint. Overall, it’s a wonderful canvas which gives you the power to customize your canvas.

Pros
  • Can be primed as many times as you desire with the gesso of your choice
  • Thin enough to be hung on walls or other display surfaces
  • Squared corners are useful
Cons
  • Some of the weaves are visible when the canvas is shipped

Read Other Artist Feedback>>

  1. Conda Artist Stretched Canvas

The Conda stretched canvas is the canvas to go for if you want the best bang for your buck, and you don’t mind switching surfaces for it. The Conda canvas comes in very close to the cheapest canvases on the market, and yet somehow – it comes triple primed! The tooth to price ratio of the Conda is nigh on the best on the market. You can also add your own gesso on top.

CONDA Artist Stretched Canvas 5" x 7" 6 Pack Professional...
  • Package:6 pack of 5"x7"canvas,suitable for both artist and...
  • Pre-primed Canvas:A superior-quality cotton canvas with a...
  • Handmade Artist Canvas:CONDA canvases are tacked and...
  • Natural Wooden Frame:CONDA canvases and paper for painting...

Experience

If you’re someone who’s just starting out with painting with acrylic paints, you’re best off getting a multi-pack of Conda’s canvases since they’re incredibly low-cost. However, do not take it as a sign of cheapness – it delivers a solid painting experience, and acrylic paints respond very well to it. To adjust the tension, the canvas comes with wooden wedges on the back.

It comes in packs of 10, which may cost less than one single canvas from other options in certain cases. It’s a medium-grained canvas which finds use here. The wooden frame is pure fir or pine and the canvas comes pre-stretched for a great painting experience. The sizes range from 8” x 10” to 16” x 20”, so you have enough flexibility in choosing sizes.

There are more than a few imperfections on the canvas surface, but that’s acceptable given the beginner-friendly nature of the canvas. This canvas is perfect especially for toddlers and children who are just getting their bearings – it’s smooth enough to work on right out of the pack and is affordable enough to let the kids freely paint to their heart’s content.

Pros
  • Very affordable compared to other canvases on the market
  • Relatively thin, can be hung on walls easily
  • Perfect for children and beginners
Cons
  • A few inconsistencies and a general looseness of the canvas

Read Other Artist Feedback>>

  1. Masterpiece Artist Canvas – Elite

This is the best of the best. At prices for a single canvas which are four times as much as for a pack of ten for most canvases, this canvas comes with no compromises at all. You only get the best painting experience possible. Instead of cotton, you get luxurious Belgian linen. The stretcher bars have no seams, and the corners are astoundingly well-made.

Masterpiece Artist Canvas 34551T Elite 1-1/2" Deep, 48" x...
  • Heavy weight 100% cotton, 11.5 oz raw weight, 14 oz finished...
  • Sized and double primed with archival quality acrylic gesso.
  • Canvas Depth: 1-1/2", Canvas relief: 1/2" (Space between...
  • Solid Pine or Fir Stretcher Bars from the sustainable...

Experience

The Elite represents the pinnacle of Masterpiece’s canvases. If you want the best canvas for your work, this is, without doubt, the canvas you should go in for. There are two variants on offer, suitable for two different kinds of users – one is the Oil-primed canvas and the other is the Acrylic-primed canvas. The Acrylic primed canvas is the one which we considered.

The Acrylic-primed canvas comes with two coatings of size as well as four coatings of gesso primer, which comes in at around 14.4 oz per square inch. Unlike most other canvases, this has a hefty width of around 1.5”, so you can stay assured of the support your canvas will have while painting. The stretcher bar is quite heavy, so make sure your studio has enough space.

The texture of the canvas is wonderful for acrylics, and the linen itself sits just perfectly on top of the wooden structure. It comes off perfectly, and you can easily transfer the painting to another location. It comes in a huge variety of sizes, many of which are similar – so make sure you know the perfect size for your painting before going ahead and getting this canvas.

Pros
  • Represents the absolute best among canvases on offer today
  • Corners, linen, gesso, and stretching are all done just right
  • The best tooth among all canvases considered
Cons
  • Very pricey and heavy

Read Other Artist Feedback>>

  1. Creative Mark – Stretched Canvas

Last but not the least by any means, the Creative Mark represents the golden mean of the canvases on offer today – it’s a perfect intermediate level canvas, with the just the right mix of features and cost-effectiveness to make it wonderful for painting regularly. The Creative Mark comes with perfectly finished corners and a triple primed linen surface to boot.

The Edge All Media Cotton Deluxe Stretched Canvas -...
  • INFO: One of the most popular artist canvases, Creative Mark...
  • CONSTRUCTION: The Edge is known for its' tuck-n-roll style...
  • FEATURES: The raw canvas is 8oz before priming; however The...
  • PERFECT FOR: The Edge canvases are perfect for oils, water...

Experience

This particular stretched canvas comes with perfectly folded corners to ensure that you can display this frameless as well as with a frame depending on your choice. These canvases are perfect for oils, water mixable oils, alkyds, acrylics, mixed media works, and frameless artwork presentation. Further, you can have it in either a 1.5” or a 2.5” width.

Without priming, the Creative Mark canvas comes in at around 8 oz, but it goes up to a solid 14 oz once they’re finished priming. It comes triple primed, but you should probably go in for another layer or two of gesso before having a go at the canvas. The perfectly finished corners make it much easier to paint until the very edge of the canvas, should you want to do so.

The primer itself is something you can talk home about, because it’s pretty good compared to what else is available on the market – bar the very best canvases which ship for more than $50 per unit. Thus, you should have no problems painting on this canvas – it makes for a solid value proposition and ticks all the right boxes too. It comes in a variety of size options too.

Pros
  • Perfectly finished corners, usually only found in the best canvases
  • Options for choosing the width of the canvas
  • The primer coating developed by Creative Mark gives more expensive canvases a run for their money
Cons
  • Some users report inconsistent corners due to shipping problems

Read Other Artist Feedback>>

With this, we wrap up reviews of the top 10 canvases on the market today, for both students and artists alike. They cover a variety of materials, canvas types, as well as surfaces suitable for a variety of media. However, should you not find these products readily, we have a buyer’s guide incoming which will help you take the call on which canvas is best for you.  

Go through it thoroughly in order to sort through the best canvases on the market, and to find out which one suits your particular usage. Without further ado, let’s begin with the buyer’s guide!

Canvases for Acrylic Painting Buyer’s Guide 

If you’re on the lookout for a canvas for your particular needs, you should know which factors come into the picture whilst getting one. Since your canvas goes a long way in making sure your art stands out, you should take care of each and every one of these factors listed below before going in for your next supplies run.

  1. Kind and quality of the fabric

The kind of quality of fabric used for the canvas should be a top priority while buying an acrylic paint canvas. It should not be hard enough for the paint to stick immediately, but it should eventually dry well enough to last long.

  1. Layers of priming

Following the point above, the layers of priming play a huge role in the kind of canvas you end up getting. As s student or a hobbyist, you probably don’t require more than say a single layer or at maximum, a double layer of primer. If you’re a professional, do look for three or possibly more layers of primer to get the perfect canvas finish.

  1. Quality and type of wood used in the canvas

The woodwork of your canvas has long term implications for its stability. You should stick to Oakwood for the best results. Make sure the canvas you purchase has some kind of indication or verification as to the quality of the wood with the packaging it comes with.  

  1. Presence of finger joints

Finger joints are not at all recommended for any case but the cheapest of the canvases. Finger joints have a tendency to come off with time. If you’re planning to preserve your canvas over long periods of time, this can potentially mean bad news for the canvas.

  1. The material of the gesso

The gesso is the substance with which the priming process is done. Gesso gives the canvas a shimmery, shiny, satin-like smoothness – but bear in mind that it costs a lot of money as well. As such, you’re better off getting a canvas which has already been primed. Look for acid-free gessos, since they allow your paint to hold much better and for a longer timespan.

Even if the canvases come double or triple primed, make sure to add your own layer of gesso if you can. That way, you can adjust the level of smoothness and tooth the canvas gives while painting.

  1. Price

The price of the canvas shouldn’t be overly cheap (it takes an effort to build a good quality canvas), but make sure you aren’t being duped. Even the higher quality of canvases which come with three primer layers and high quality wood, with good tooth don’t cost too much per canvas.

Putting it all together

These factors should be on top of your considerations while going in for your next purchase. This will help you decide which type of canvas is best for your particular usage, and your level of skill at this point. Going in for a fully professional canvas when you’re just a beginner won’t make sense either from a financial or an artistic point of view.  

This wraps up today’s discussion on the best canvases present on the market today, covering all kinds of canvases – linen and cotton, single or triple primed, and from the smallest to the largest possible size of the canvas. If you’re followed the reviews and the guide, you are now fully prepared to go out there and hunt for a canvas which fits your bill perfectly.

Happy shopping!  

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