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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Pitts

Canvas Priming - Starting New Paintings

I always start a new series of paintings by preparing my canvases beforehand. I start by stretching the canvas over my assembled my stretchers, this can be a tricky process! Getting the tension even and ‘just right’ takes practice.

Next, I apply several layers of primer/gesso, gradually building up the density to the desired level. This is a labour intensive and time-consuming process. However, I always have felt that it has allowed me to truly shape how my paintings look, having a greater understanding of those initial layers gives me total control over the look and the quality of the materials in the finished painting.

After applying the gesso layers this needs to 'cure' before I paint on it, a process that can take several weeks. I have used a variety of professional acrylic gessoes over the years, this acrylic gesso that I have used here is by Golden Paints, it is a professional quality gesso and has a good amount of titanium white (PW6) pigment in it. This is important as it provides a bright surface for which to paint on. Professional primers/gessoes tend to have more of the bright white Titanium pigment, they also use a higher quality polymer as the binder.

After the canvases have cured, I’ll be ready to paint, in the meantime I will spend the coming weeks developing ideas in my sketchbooks for these canvases.

Canvas Art Priming Paraphernalia of Jonathan Pitts Artist, Golden acrylic gesso white.
Priming Paraphernalia of Jonathan Pitts Artist

Many thanks for reading, my canvas artworks are currently on display in a London art exhibition at the Hook a Contemporary Art Gallery in London.

From the Hook's website:

'A landscape cannot be defined by lines and contrived marks. To capture the true beauty and spirit around us, as painters we must realise that the image of nature is made up of patches and washed of colour."

A graduate from Falmouth College of Arts and winner of the 2nd prize at the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition, Jonathan Pitts paints landscapes 'en plein air' using heavy impasto paints.

With his palette knife, he shifts and sculpts the paint until he feels that he has captured the spirit of the surrounding landscape. Pitts works to a degree of abstraction; he is focused on exploring the landscape as a whole rather that its macro details. The result is a buttery mosaic of paint spread liberally on the canvas.

The Hook's Take: Jonathan Pitts' beautifully depicted landscapes are reminiscent of a summer sunset. The paintings transport the viewer's mind to warmer, summertime memories.

The Hook is a London-based art retail concept offering a selection of original fine art + limited editions. Start an art love affair.

The Hook is an art retail website and store based in London. At The Hook, we believe buying art shouldn’t be intimidating. We offer an edited selection of original fine art and limited editions from both emerging and established artists. You can shop however you want, through our online store or in one of our London spaces. Our prices are listed from the outset, and we offer artworks for a range of budgets. Our team would be delighted to work with you to understand your vision for your perfect piece. Your artwork can be collected from our store or securely delivered to you.

We’ll also support you throughout the entire process of buying your artwork. All of our pieces come hand-framed, using high-quality wooden mouldings. We can also recommend services if you need support hanging your artwork.

With a selection of contemporary art disciplines in our collection, each artist featured at The Hook has a unique story to tell.'

The Hook an affordable art gallery in london is located at 37 Brushfield Street in London, E1 6AA.

Many thanks for looking!

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