This is the general material used for painting. It is kept prepared in rolls of various widths, and is sold also strained on frames of any required size. The ground or preparation of the canvas should be thin, yet completely covering the threads of the fabric; and it should be free from projecting lines and knots.
Take suitable new canvas, stretch it well upon a stretching frame, wet it well with clean water, and afterwards dry it thoroughly; then stretch it a second time. Grind equal quantities of white-lead and whiting, well dried, with five parts of raw oil, and add one part boiled oil; prime the cloth over on the face with a brush, palette knife, or trowel; the last is preferable to those who can use it. After the canvas has had sufficient time to dry, scrape oft from the back any superabundant colour which may have passed through it; then repeat a second coat on the face, leaving it as smooth as possible. When hard and dry, rub it smooth with a piece of light pumice and water, so as to cut off or lay all the knots in the canvas; then grind two parts white-lead, two parts whiting, and one part burnt ochre, with a small quantity of pumice, all well ground separately rather stiff in raw oil; afterwards mix the whole, adding a little gold size, dilute with half raw oil and half turpentine, and apply a third, fourth, or fifth coat; repeat rubbing down with pumice and water until smooth enough for painting upon.
Oil Sketching Paper is an extremely serviceable material for the young artist. It is made of drawing paper, covered with two or three thin coats of oil colour, so as to furnish a ground similar to that of prepared canvas. It is cheap and portable, and serves very well for early attempts and for preparatory sketches; for trying the effects of any work previous to its commencement, as well as during its progress. The paper has this advantage, that, if the sketch is required to be preserved, it can readily be pasted or glued upon the canvas, and then mounted on a deal frame, when it will present the appearance of strained canvas.