PAINTING ON MASONITE VS CANVAS OR CANVAS PANELS
Many have grown tired of or cannot afford expensive canvas. They may stretch their own, buy less expensive canvas panels that may warp over time. But many use masonite panels or birch plywood. Is one better than the other? Not necessarily, it is up to you. Masonite and birch must be prepared if you choose to use them.
Masonite can be readily purchased at home improvement stores. It comes in two thicknesses, 1/8" and 1/4" and the stores can cut it into many sizes and pieces for you. Most charge a nominal fee for cutting. Artists normally choose 1/4" to prevent warping, but it can get heavy in a larger size. Also you absolutely must coat it with several coats of gesso or primer! Another suggestion is to build a support frame for the back of it, called cradling. If you do use masonite, be sure to coat it on ALL sides with primer or gesso to prevent warping! The same is true of plywood. BTW, all must be sealed with a gloss primer BEFORE you use gesso so that moisture doesn't get in!
Artists will also opt to glue canvas cloth or linen to the hardboard. They thus get the best of both canvas and hardboard. Many professionals do this as it saves money and they have an excellent support for their painting! Be sure to use acid free glue however. I would ask at an art supply store for the correct glue to use. Again, all sides must be primed.
If you would like to know more about using masonite, I would recommend the article "A GUIDE TO PAINTING ON HARDBOARD OR WOOD" by The Spruce Crafts. (just Google it) It is a comprehensive guide that will answer just about any question you may have!
I have not done this yet, but considering how canvas is becoming SO expensive, I'm sure I will soon! In fact, I have several pieces of birch paneling sitting on my back porch that would be perfect, Oh, I think I just had a "DUH" moment!
I about had a heart attack when I saw that Michael's now charges $84.99 for a 36 x 48 x 1 1/5 canvas! I use this size often and now must wait for 70% off sales! With these new homes having such high ceilings, people want big paintings, especially when they see their smaller ones getting lost on those walls. I don't know about where you live, but here in Florida I have seen walls go up 15 feet or more. Masonite might be too heavy to use in this large size but we can always ask the experts, right?
Below is one of my latest paintings. It was a fun little 8 x 10 that was some practice on rain. Enjoy!
10 x 8