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The constant question that are commonly asked among painters and artists is whether you should buy pre-stretched canvases or stretch your own. While this might be widely dependent on the personal preference of the artist, there are also several elements that you need to consider. Essentially, stretching your own canvas would allow you a lot more flexibility as compared to buying pre-stretched ones.
The most common factor to consider first is the personal style. If you have developed a personal style and a signature or trademark on your canvas, then you would most likely be stretching your own canvases. This is because there are actually artists whose canvases are made according to their own style and design.
Of course, there is also the cost factor. This would be one of the primary factors here because stretching your own canvas would surely be cheaper than buying them off the shelves. When you stretch your own canvas, chances are you will be buying a full roll and then you will probably cut them into pieces before actually stretching them over the wood. This however has a drawback because you might need to customize the size of the stretcher which might be costly as well.
Another factor that you need to consider is space. If you buy pre-stretched canvases, you need to allocate space for it. This would require a lot of pre-planning and it is important that you have the place which is appropriate. Furthermore, you should not keep the pre-stretched canvases for too long.
Stretching your own canvases would require skills and the right tools. Basically, you need the canvas pliers, a good staple gun and such. This are tools that are paid once and that you will have to use them when stretching your canvases and they are not costly.
Skills is an essential element here. Typically, if you do not have the right skills and experience to stretch your own canvas, then the end product might not be as good as you desired. It will reflect onto your painting in the future which might not be something that you want.
To be able to stretch your own canvases into a professional looking piece requires skill and this only comes with experience and to gain experience you will need to practice. However, you must be able to come in terms that stretching your own canvases might not be your cup of tea if you tried many times and still fail. This is because it might be too hard for you and this is one thing which might not be right for everyone.
On top of that, there are certain types of canvases that do not come in pre-stretched forms. This include the likes of oil primed linens and such.
Stretching your own canvases allow you to have the flexibility to determine your own sizes. It also allows you to determine all other factors that the canvas would be which include the type of canvas, thickness and such, all of which you can control if you do it yourself.