"Off Duty" - oil - 8"x10"
Inspired by the recent Different Strokes week 32-34 challenge of Madison Avenue, NYC, I decided to try another taxi painting. I don't know much about cars, but found the colors in this scene irresistible.
Finishing the back of your stretched canvas
Because I work on wrap-stretched canvas, I paint the sides as I go to alleviate the necessity of framing. I also back my paintings in a manner that I've had a few comments on, so I thought I'd share that today. I'd be interested in hearing what your method is for finishing off the back of your paintings.
My personal choice is to back my canvases with Tyvek, which is a fiberglass paper that doesn't tear. Some art supply stores will sell it by the yard; I buy a 50 yard roll from a local sign supply which gets me through a couple years. White or brown kraft paper is still standard for professional framing shops and is a good choice (less expensive, too).
To streamline this task, I keep a template sized for each standard canvas that I commonly use(A), in the size of the wood inset on the back of the canvas. I cut these out of mat board scraps and label them. (TIP: make friends with a frame shop. Often they have a large supply of mat board scraps that they are happy to give to you free or sell at a low cost.)
When cutting the Tyvek or paper, lay the template on top, and then lay a metal ruler over the edge; this will keep you from slicing into the template.
(B) Line the perimeter of the backing paper with adhesive transfer tape (3M's product is 924 ATG; Jerry's Artarama carries a store brand for a much better price). Strip the backing off the adhesive, lay the backing paper over the wood on the canvas, adjust and press into place (D).
Using a scrap of mat board that has marks for placing screws for every size of canvas I use (which is faster than a ruler or measuring tape), I attach all small D-rings and plastic coated picture wire.
I finish with a label on the the back that lists my web address.
Why back the painting at all? Many years I found out the hard way that stretched canvases stored, or even hanging on a wall over a length of time can end up collecting a lot of stuff in the back... dust, spiders, etc. Much of this can be removed using clear packing tape, but sometimes chunky detritus can work its way down to the front edge of your painting and make a series of lumps... pretty unsightly! Backing a canvas can gives it a nice clean, professional look. It sends a signal that you value your work.
I also store paintings custom size plastic bags that I make... more on that in the next post or so.
So what's your method? I'm always look for new and improved ways of doing things. Would love to hear your ideas..