Build two stretched canvases.  The frames should be 36”x 36” or larger. Stretch raw canvas over the stretcher frames as demonstrated in class.  When working outside of class, carefully follow the instructions  below. Gesso both stretched canvases.


To learn to build canvas stretcher frames, a common painting support, and learn to stretch and secure raw canvas to the frame.  Also, to learn to prepare raw canvas by priming it with several layers of gesso.

Due Dates:

Monday, Oct. 21–Wood purchased and in the studio.

Monday, Nov. 4–Two completed stretched and gesso-covered canvas due at the beginning of class.


Note:  As explained during class, follow these safety guidelines when using the wood shop:

  1.  Wear safety goggles.
  2.  Do not wear loose clothing, including scarves and ties.
  3.  Pull long hair back.
  4.  Clean up sawdust on counters and floors.
  5.  Turn off wood shop vents when finished working.

Self-Evaluation Goals:

-Two large canvases are fully constructed.  This includes cutting and assembling wood, stretching the canvas and priming the surface.

-Stretchers are well crafted.  They frame is not warped or misshapen and the corners of the canvas are carefully folded as demonstrated in class.  Do not buy wet wood. It will warp when you bring it in the building.

Process Video: Here is a quick review of the process demonstrated in class.  Please note that I did not actually nail the pieces together so you might see gaps between seams that shouldn’t exist in your finished (glued and nailed) frame. The sound in the first clip is a bit soft so you may need to turn up the volume on your computer. Studio Note: Scraps of wood with quarter-round nailed to it should not be put in the scrap bins in the wood shop.  Please put them in the bins in the painting studio.


To reiterate:


Step 2: Stretching Canvas (this will also be demonstrated in class)

To stretch canvas over your frame:

  1. Cut your canvas large enough to easily wrap around the stretcher frame.
  2. Stretch canvas as demonstrated in class, stapling the canvas in place in the following order:


  1. Cut fabric away from each corner, as demonstrated in class and neatly fold corner canvas, tucking fabric underneath in a technique similar to gift-wrapping corners.  Staple corner fabric in place.
  2. Gesso the front and sides of your canvas.
  3. Let dry, sand, if desired and paint a second layer of gesso. Paint a third layer, if desired.

Congratulations!  You now have the proverbial “blank canvas”.

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