The Ultimate Guide to Choosing and Using Canvas Panel Packs

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Canvas art has seen a major surge in popularity over the last few years. The visual appeal and texture make canvas paintings stand out on your wall. While stretched canvas is the more traditional option, canvas panel packs are becoming a top choice for artists of all skill levels. With their convenient sizes and variety to choose from, canvas panel packs let you experiment with paints for a fraction of the cost and commitment of large canvases.

In this ultimate guide, we’ll explore the top five canvas panel packs on the market right now. Whether you’re a beginner looking for options to practice techniques or a pro needing quality surfaces for finished works, there’s a canvas panel set that will meet your needs. We’ll also dive into the key factors to consider when selecting a canvas panel pack, from surface type to price, size, and more. Read on to find the perfect canvas panels to ignite your creative passion!

Top 5 Canvas Panel Packs for Artists

1. ARTEZA Canvas Panel Pack

For beginners looking to dabble in canvas painting, the ARTEZA Canvas Panel Pack is a top choice. This affordable 12-pack contains a range of canvas paper pads and panels. Sizes include 5×7, 8×10, 11×14, and 12×16 inches, ideal for playing around with smaller studies and experiments.

The canvas paper pads have a 230 gsm weight with a smooth texture. The actual canvas panels are pre-primed with two coats of gesso and have a medium tooth feel. While not the highest quality, the ARTEZA pack features primed cotton canvas with acid-free and archival supports. It’s perfect for new artists on a budget!

2. Fredrix Pro Studio Canvas Panel Pack

Trusted brand Fredrix offers the Pro Studio pack for artists seeking a professional quality surface. This 12-pack includes ultra-smooth 8×10 inch cotton duck canvas panels ideal for oil or acrylic painting.

The heavyweight 400 gsm canvas is triple primed with acid-free acrylic gesso for a balanced tooth. Fredrix uses custom-milled, medium texture cotton duck canvas for vibrant color transfer and coverage. With this versatile pack, you can dive right into detailed studies or finished pieces.

3. Winsor & Newton Canvas Paper Pad

For a portable paper option, look no further than the canvas pad from Winsor & Newton. This pack comes with 20 sheets of 9×12 inch canvas paper, perfect for artists on the go. The pad features heavy 200 gsm paper with a toothy fine grain texture.

Winsor & Newton’s canvas paper is acid-free and made from 100% cotton. The instant-dry paper works beautifully with ink, acrylics, watercolor, and mixed media. Bring these smooth-surface canvas sheets along to cafes or outdoor painting sessions!

4. Blick Studio Acrylic Painting Pad

Blick Studio’s canvas pads are designed specifically with acrylic painting in mind. The 11×14 inch pad contains 12 sheets of medium tooth cotton canvas with acrylic gesso coating.

With a weight of 400 gsm, this pad can handle thick applications of acrylic paint without warping. The smooth-finish canvas sizing provides ideal adhesion for acrylics. Blick Studio canvas gives you quality results for all your acrylic creations. Plus, the pad form factor remains easy to transport.

5. Mont Marte Canvas Panel Pack

For painters who want a heavy-duty professional surface, Mont Marte’s canvas panel pack delivers. This 12-pack contains 8×10 inch blank canvas panels made from 100% triple-primed cotton canvas. With a weight of 410 gsm, these panels feel substantial and sturdy even when applied with thick oils or acrylics.

Mont Marte pulls out all the stops, with ph-neutral acrylic gesso and an ultra-smooth finish. Bounces light evenly for impeccable color. While one of the more expensive options, Mont Marte panels are an incredible value for the quality. Ideal for gallery-ready masterpieces!

How to Choose the Best Canvas Panel Pack

With so many canvas panel packs on the market, it can get overwhelming determining the right pick. Here are the key factors to consider when selecting canvas panels:

Surface Type

The two main surface types for canvas panels are cotton duck and canvas paper. Cotton duck has a more textured tooth while paper surfaces tend to be smoother. Paper is excellent for watercolor, ink, and light washes. For heavy acrylic or oil techniques, choose duck canvas.

Size Variety

Think about the scale you like to work for studies versus finished pieces. Some packs offer variety, like the Arteza mix of 5×7 up to 12×16. Others focus on a versatile single size, like the 8×10 Fredrix pack. Plan the subjects and mediums you want to paint.

Number of Panels

Bulk packs with 12 or more panels give you room to experiment across different techniques and compositions. You’ll save by buying in bulk. If you want to zero in on a signature size, opt for a smaller pack with fewer panels.

Canvas Coating

Canvas coating comes in a few main types: gesso, primer, and acrylic gesso. Each provides a good base layer. Acrylic gesso is more water-resistant for wet mediums like acrylics. Check for acid-free canvas that will resist aging.

Weight and Tooth

Higher weight canvas panels (400 gsm and up) have a toothier, more textured surface that acrylic and oil painters appreciate. Lighter paper-weight canvases are smoother. Tooth also varies from ultra-fine to coarse. A medium tooth offers versatility.

Price and Brand

Balance your budget with quality. Student grade canvas panel packs offer the lowest prices. Mid-range packs from Blick Studio or Fredrix deliver professional results for fair prices. Higher end packs like Mont Marte provide top-tier surfaces for more investment.

Frequently Asked Questions About Canvas Panels

What is the difference between canvas panels and stretched canvas?

The main difference lies in the support. Canvas panels feature a rigid, hard substrate made from wood, cardboard, or foam core. The canvas surface is then wrapped around the sides and secured to the back. Stretched canvas uses canvas pulled taut over a wooden frame and secured to the edges with staples.

Stretched canvas has a bounce and give to the surface. Canvas panels present a perfectly flat, smooth face. Stretched canvas allows you to see the sides of the canvas texture. The edges of canvas panels are crisply finished.

What types of paint can be used on canvas panels?

Most canvas panels accept multiple paint media. The most common are acrylics, oils, watercolors, inks, and mixed media collage. Ensure the gesso provides adequate tooth and adhesion for the medium you plan to use. The surface needs to accept and hold the paint.

Oil painters should choose heavier weight cotton duck canvas panel packs to handle thick impasto techniques. Acrylic gesso provides the perfect base for acrylics. Watercolorists will appreciate ultra-smooth paper canvas panels.

How should canvas panels be stored?

Store canvas panels flat in a dry environment, away from direct sunlight, extreme temperatures, and moisture. If laid horizontally, place foam or felt between each panel to prevent rubbing. For vertical storage, use divider inserts to give space between the panels.

Keep canvas panels in an interior room with climate control. The gesso coating can become brittle and crack if the temperature and humidity fluctuate to extremes. Handle the panels carefully by the edges as well.

Should canvas panels be varnished?

Varnishing canvas panels is optional, depending on your preference. Some artists appreciate the protective seal varnish provides against dust, pollutants, and UV damage. It also enhances vibrancy and provides an overall deeper, richer color.

That said, varnish does change the original appearance of the painting. It adds a subtle gloss as well. Matte varnish finishes are available. Talk to an art store expert about the best varnish brand and finish for acrylic or oil canvas paintings.

What are the benefits of buying canvas panels in packs?

Canvas panel packs offer convenience, savings, and variety for artists. Multipacks provide cost savings per panel compared to purchasing individually. This helps offset materials expenses for students or hobby painters.

Packs also allow you to try out a range of sizes from 5×7 to 16×20 inches. Moving between scales helps build skills. When purchasing individually, scale range gets expensive. With packs, you can play around without breaking the bank!

Final Thoughts on Exploring Canvas Panels

Canvas panels open up a world of artistic possibilities. Their portability, affordability, and quality make canvas panel packs the perfect vehicle for creativity. Use the information in this guide to zero in on the ideal canvas panel pack for your needs.

We recommend the Fredrix Pro Studio Cotton Duck panels as the best mid-range option offering versatile 8×10 inch surfaces with professional results. The heavy cotton duck texture provides excellent tooth for vibrant acrylic and oil techniques. Pair your new canvas panels with quality brushes, paints, and inspiration. Then enjoy immersing yourself in the creative process. Happy painting!

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