Preparing canvases. I used to make my own stretchers, stretch the canvas, apply several coats of gesso sanding between each coat. Now I buy pre-made canvases with gesso already applied.
The problem is that acrylic paint quite often does not adhere to these canvases; at least not the first pass of color blocking.
The reason: likely there is oil present.
The solution: gesso, sand and then gesso again. Repeat until the desired texture is achieved. Super smooth can take several applications .
I like having a little “tooth” so I usually only do two or three coats.
How do you work your canvases?
That's a tricky question. I am certainly not an artist and have had no training. When I paint, it's in a canvas book and I just let the paint and brushes make me feel like a fool. I'm jealous of those of you that create such wonderful worlds. Keep at it!