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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > July 19 > YOUR VIEWS

YOUR VIEWS

Letters, emails and comments

Email theartistletters@tapc.co.uk or write to The Editor, The Artist, 63/65 High Street, Tenterden, Kent TN30 6BD Please note we may have to edit letters for reasons of space

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Pre-stretched canvas: to prime or not to prime?

I read Graham Webber’s article in the April 2019 issue of The Artist with interest, because no-one has ever explained to me the reason why it is so important to prime the surface of a canvas before painting in oils. Many, many articles by traditional artists have given the whole process of making rabbit-skin glue size, often in great detail, but it’s a lot of bother and I have perfectly good acrylic gesso in the cupboard should I ever need it. But I never knew the reasoning behind the priming – that oil paint can eventually rot the surface of the canvas. It made me re-think the whole priming business. I have one question for Graham: I’ve been in the habit of giving the prestretched canvas a glaze of acrylic followed by a broad underpainting in acrylic before completing the painting in oils; does the acrylic act instead of the primer (whether rabbit-skin glue or acrylic gesso) to prime the surface?

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About The Artist

Welcome to the July issue of The Artist full of practical features by our top team of artist-contributors to inspire your own drawing and painting. Learn how David Taylor captures light effects in watercolour, perfect your brushwork with Hazel Soan, paint a summer rose in five easy stages, and street scenes full of life and colour. Enjoy demonstrations on how to create depth in your landscapes, use pastels to express texture, paint a backlit treescape in acrylics, and how to develop compositions from original reference material. Robert Dutton and Judi Whitton offer advice on how to avoid overworking and make the right choices to ensure successful compositions, while Martin Kinnear explains how to manage colour for visual design purposes. There's also a wealth of information about competitions to enter, exhibitions to see, special offers, art world news, courses and holidays and advice on promoting your own work. Whatever your preferred subject matter or medium, there's something for everyone and plenty of ideas to try in your own work this month.