Preparing Your Canvas, Steps in Written Format

Here are the steps to preparing your canvas (may vary a bit from video lessons):

1. Mix equal amounts of gesso and matte medium (50/50) in a small cup. 

2. Apply a thin layer of that mixture to your canvas with a 1" or larger flat synthetic bristle brush. (white nylon or golden taklon) Use smooth, even strokes, starting from one side, working your way to the other. Your strokes should go in the long direction of the canvas.

3. Let dry for about 2-3 hours. (Increase drying time if humidity is high or the temperature is cooler than room temp.)

4. When the canvas is completely dry, sand it with 220 grit sandpaper, gently. (You can tell if the canvas is dry by placing your palm on the surface. If it feels cool to the touch, it means water is still evaporating from underneath. It is not ready to sand yet. Give it another hour or two to dry.) Sand the surface in the long direction of the canvas. Putting the sandpaper in a sanding block works best. You should wear a cloth or paper mask when you do this to avoid breathing the dust.

5. Wipe off excess dust with a damp rag.

6. Apply one more layer of matte medium and gesso, only this time add a little more matte medium and a mist of water to thin it out. Let dry for 1-2 hours.

7. Draw your grid on the canvas, 1" squares, using a 50% or lighter grey Prismacolor colored pencil. (Do not use watercolor colored pencils or they may bleed)