The substance of choice for Pet Paintings is oil, and the material best suited for oil is canvas. Canvas ‘drinks’ the paint so the brush strokes hold their true and never shimmy. Furthermore, oil provides full luster.
Interestingly, canvas wasn’t always the choice of professional painters. Before 1400 the main choice of the portrait artist, and other artists, was wood. Wood was good, it ‘drank’ the oil, but it was expensive to make and prepare.
The renaissance arrived, new horizons opened up, renaissance pet portraits and new technologies were found around the earth. One particular technology was linked to the moving of sailing boats, and this was to prove a boon to all painters. That’s right, that stiff canvas used to catch the wind and push wooden ships and iron men over the oceans turned out to be the perfect replacement for wood.
Canvas was originally made from a family of plants called hemp. Hemp, as most any hippie knows, is another name for cannabis. The material was originally constructed by weaving the fibers of cannabis in a tight pattern.
Canvas was probably first stretched over basic wooden planks; it took a while for wooden frames to catch on. This was probably around the fifteenth century, and the practice exploded in popularity. Every artist who was any good, and a few who weren’t, were ecstatic over the new material.
As has been indicated, canvas ‘drinks’ oil, but that was only the beginning of the benefits. Canvas was also light, easy to transport, and much cheaper. Interestingly, because canvas is so easy to use it became possible to paint larger works, and the size of portraits literally exploded.
The next big occurrence, in the history of this painter’s medium, was in the type of material used to make the canvas. During the industrial revolution American Cotton was less expensive, and therefore became the artist’s choice. It should be said, however, that the top tier of portraitists, the more famous artists, still preferred hemp, for it lasted longer, was stronger, and, here’s something to consider, was less prone to the effects of mildew.
Today’s canvas, used by the portrait artists everywhere, is usually made of cotton duck, this because of the large popularity (and decreased expense) of acrylics. More accomplished artists, which would be to say those fellows and gals who actually make a serious living with their brushes, choose linen, and this is because the top notch painters work with oils. Whatever the medium used, however, the true test is in the skill of the person doing the painting, and this especially holds true for the art of pet paintings.