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canvas stretching Assemble the stretcher strips for the size of your finished canvas. Using a carpenter or dressmaker's square, make sure the assembled strips are "in square."   Staple each corner to secure the framework. Cut a piece of canvas 2" wider and longer than the finished size.
canvas stretching Using your finger thumb and index finger as a guide, draw the canvas over the top of the stretcher bars, allowing about 1/4" to extend beyond the back edge of the strip. Visually check to see you have about 1" extension on each side.
canvas stretching Hold the canvas in place on top of the stretcher bar and staple the canvas at center of the strip.   Use a tack hammer to be sure the staple is securely in place. Turn the canvas over so that the stapled edge is against the table.
canvas stretching Grasp about 1/2" with the stretcher pliars and pull down against the stretcher bar until stretch marks appear vertically in the face of the canvas. Staple once to hold the canvas tightly in place. Turn the canvas 90 degrees and repeat the process for the unstapled ends.
canvas stretching At the end you just stapled, grasp the left corner of the canvas at an angle and pull down and away. Staple the corner. Repeat the process on the right corner. Turn the canvas over and do the same at the other end. This step should ensure a smooth canvas face with no stretch marks. Turn the canvas 90 degrees to the point of beginning.
canvas stretching Grasp the canvas about two inches at either side of center, pull down and staple.   Work outward at two inch intervals to the end of the stretcher bar. Returning to the center, work outward in the other direction until the whole edge has been stapled. Turn the canvas over until the stapled edge is down and repeat the process on the opposite edge.   Finish the ends in the same way.
canvas stretching
Fold each of the corners tightly and staple them to the stretcher bars.
canvas stretching If longevity of the painting is a consideration, fold the remaining canvas over the back of the stretcher bars and staple in place. Otherwise, using a sharp knife, trim the edge of the canvas flush with the stretcher bars.

Here are some helpful hints that I've picked up along the way.
  • Small indentions in the canvas surface can be removed by using the heat of a hair dryer on the back side of the canvas.   Careful! Canvas is combustible!
  • If there are small wrinkles in your stretched canvas, moistening the back with a fine mist and allowing it to dry may help.   Note: (This one is from a personal experience.) Don't try this with Linen canvas!
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DVD Cover
"Rocks and Sea" DVD

Learn to paint rocks with this
58 minute video workshop.
DVD or Download.

DVD Cover
"The Protector" DVD

A colorful 89 minute video workshop, in close-up detail.
DVD or Download.

DVD Cover
"The Wild Sea" DVD

Learn to paint the sea with this 53 minute video workshop .
DVD or Download.

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"The Breaking Wave" CD

The basic wave, 30 page e-book workshop for computer.
CD or Download.

Glacial Lake Missoula
"Glacial Lake Missoula"

See it on Nova Megafloods Website. Geologic commission. 

My back yard

A photo gallery of Oregon coast mushrooms 
Pickering family history
Oil painting video workshop to paint seascapes and ocean waves. Byron Pickering art, oil painting instruction builds confidence to master color, motion, and depth in seascape painting