The Best Canvases for Oil Painting in 2024

Over the centuries, countless artists have searched for canvases for oil paintings. While professional artists may insist upon the finest linen canvas, the student or hobbyist doesn’t need to spend so much money.

Canvases made of cotton are affordable and durable, making them ideal for everything from practice to home décor projects and professional work.

With so many different types of canvas available, it can be hard to choose the right one for your purposes. This guide was created after weeks of exhaustive research into which canvases were the for oil painting.

Keep reading to learn about many reliable canvas options for a variety of projects.

Best Canvases for Oil Painting:

1. Artlicious Canvas Panels

This set of one dozen eight-inch by 10-inch canvas panels is an incredible bargain. While these canvases are particularly well suited to oil paint, they work as well with acrylics and tempera. Acid-free and archival-quality, these boards are built to stand the test of time.

Cotton duck canvas is used to manufacture each of these boards. The cotton is grown and woven in India, then primed with acrylic gesso to be ready to go upon receipt by the artist. Each canvas features carefully turned edges and a multiple binder board.

One of the things that makes this selection the quality canvas for painting is that they are prepped and ready for painting when they are shipped to the consumer. Also of note is the top-of-the-line fabric, which is hand-woven.

Artists say that these are the perfect canvases for beginners, though some users were disappointed that this item doesn’t feature stretched canvas.

If you’re looking for a set of canvas panels to practice your painting, you can’t go wrong here.

Features

  • Pack: 12
  • Size: 8″ x 10″. Other sizes are also available.
  • Quality: Acid-free and archival quality
  • Suitable: for oils, acrylics, and tempera
  • Mounted with pure cotton artist canvas primed with an acrylic gesso for painting in any medium.
  • Conforms to ASTM D 4236

Pros

  • A great value
  • Uses sustainable materials
  • Easy-to-use for beginners

Cons

  • Not stretched canvas

2. Phoenix Pre-Stretched Canvas for Painting

This seven-pack of 11-inch by 14-inch stretched canvas boards is a spectacular deal. Made from 100 percent cotton, this canvas has a medium-grain finish and is acrylic triple gesso primed. Accordingly, you don’t have to do any prep work before you start painting.

This product deserves to be called the quality canvas for painting thanks to its affordability and the high-grade cotton material that the manufacturer uses. The cotton is processed without any alkaline chemicals so that it retains the flexibility of the fiber and the natural tone of the material.

While the canvas is being stretched, the manufacturer pays particular attention to wrapping the corners and achieving just the right amount of tension. Each of the bars is made of reliable pine wood, and vacuum packaging ensures the freshness and usability of each canvas.

The triple-primed gesso helps to make this canvas for oil painting a winner.

People who have tried this product love how solid and sturdy the canvases are and praise for the quality of the packaging is frequent. Nonetheless, a few consumers did receive canvases that weren’t stretched as tightly as they’d liked.

Anyone who wants to experience painting on stretched canvas without breaking the bank is advised to give this selection a try.

Features

  • Pack: 7
  • Size: 11″ x 14″. You can also choose other sizes.
  • Quality: All painting canvases are pre-primed with acid-free gesso and ready to paint
  • Suitable: for oil, acrylic, watercolor, and other painting media.
  • Is made from high-grade long-staple cotton.
  • Ideal for beginners, kids and students, adults, and professionals

Pros

  • Excellent canvas quality
  • Stretched canvas at a great price
  • Triple gesso primer

Cons

  • The canvas may not be stretched tight enough for some artists

3. US Art Supply Professional Artist Canvas

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The useful and universally appealing 10-inch by eight-inch size of this selection makes them the canvas boards no matter what discipline you practice. They will perform well with oils, but you also can use them for watercolor, gouache, acrylic, pouring, and more. The canvas is hand-stretched and glued over each MDF backer board.

The thickness profile on these boards is 1/16″, and each canvas has been triple primed with acid-free white gesso so that you don’t have to worry about preparing them for painting. US Art Supply is so confident that artists will love their products that they stand behind them with a full refund guarantee. Just let them know if you’re dissatisfied, and they will make it right.

Whether you are a student or an adult, you’ll appreciate the quality manufacturing of this product. It’s sturdy enough to stand the test of time and inexpensive enough to make it a great opportunity to practice.

Many people have fallen in love with these panels because they are easy to use, but numerous artists complain about the company’s logo sticker on the back of each canvas.

When you’re ready for panel boards that work for oils and beyond, pick up this versatile pack.

Features

  • Pack: 12
  • Size: 8″ x 10″
  • Quality: 100% Cotton. Triple Primed with Acid-Free White Gesso
  • Suitable: for acrylic, oil, watercolor, tempera, gouache, pouring, airbrushing & more.
  • Ideal for students, classrooms, professionals, and children
  • Satisfaction Guarantee

Pros

  • A great bargain
  • 100-percent satisfaction guarantee
  • Quality manufacturing

Cons

  • Manufacturer’s label on the back of each canvas

4. Artlicious Canvas Panels

These beautiful canvas panels come in a five-inch by seven-inch size for those small, highly detailed works of art. Each board is covered with a 100-percent duck canvas that is grown and woven in India.

Because each of the panels is acid-free and of archival quality, you can trust them to preserve your favorite pieces. Thanks to their convenient size, this is the canvas for portrait painting.

Getting 12 canvas panels at this price is a steal, and the turned edges are a quality touch. Because each panel arrives pre-primed, you don’t have to worry about doing much preparation.

Thanks to individual wrapping and the excellent ability to hold paint, many people recommend these canvas panels. However, a few critics thought that there wasn’t enough gesso primer on the canvas.

Beginning artists who want to try portrait painting on a small scale will love this kit.

Features

  • Pack: 12
  • Also available in other quantities: (24 and 48).
  • Size: 5″ x 7″.
  • Quality: 100% cotton, primed. Acid-free & archival quality
  • It meets the needs of educators, students, and beginning artists
  • Conforms to ASTM D 4236

Pros

  • The perfect size for portraits
  • Individually wrapped
  • A tremendous value

Cons

  • Gesso priming may not be sufficient for some artists

5. FixSmith Painting Canvas Panel Boards

This 100-percent pure cotton product includes 24 five-inch by seven-inch canvasses. Each one is primed and acid-free, which means that it is ready for immediate use and will stand the test of time.

The fiber tone and flexibility of the cotton are maintained throughout the manufacturing process thanks to the absence of alkaline chemicals. Each canvas is firmly glued to its board for extra sturdiness. The core of each board is made from recycled paper that’s acid-free.

This high-quality art canvas has lots of fans because the paint glides easily across the surface. Many also appreciate the label for adding artist info on the back. Nonetheless, some were dissatisfied with the boards’ tendency to curl when subjected to heavy paint application.

Beginners and those looking for a practicing medium will be satisfied with this purchase.

Features

  • Pack: 12.
  • Size: 5″ x 7″. Other sizes available: (8″ x 10″ and 11″ x 14″)
  • Quality: 100% cotton, triple primed gesso. Acid-free
  • Suitable: for acrylic, oil, tempera, and other different painting media.
  • Ideal for artists, educators, students, beginners, amateurs, kids, and professionals.
  • Satisfaction Guarantee

Pros

  • The paint glides across the surface
  • A label for artist info
  • Pretty sturdy

Cons

  • May curl with heavy paint application

6. Academy Art Supply Stretched Canvas

This set is a super deal for 6 12-inch by 16-inch stretched canvases. The quality is so good that it’s next door to be ready for professional work. When you’re oil painting on canvas like this, you’ll feel like your work is worthy of display.

Each canvas is primed with acid-free gesso so that you’re ready to paint immediately. Back stapling ensures a clean appearance, and the conventional size of the canvas means that each work of art is ready to frame and hang.

The tightness of the stretch on these canvases is admirable. Whether you’re practicing a new technique or creating a home décor project, you’ll be satisfied with the quality of this product.

Many artists are fans of these canvases because they are sturdy, pre-primed, and an excellent value. Nonetheless, some found that it was too easy to damage the ultra-thin canvas.

Artists who want to know what it’s like to work with stretched canvas can get their start here.

Features

  • Pack: 6.
  • Size: 12 x 16in.
  • Quality: Quality cotton pre-stretched canvases. Acid-Free
  • Suitable: for oil and acrylic painting.
  • Ideal for students, adults, and professionals.
  • Back-stapled for a clean look-ready hang and comes in standard size for easy framing

Pros

  • Excellent value for stretched canvas
  • Primed with acid-free gesso
  • Carefully stretched and back stapled

Cons

  • Canvas may be too thin for heavy-handed painters

7. Academy Art Supply Canvas Panels

These 11-inch by 14-inch canvas panels are ideal for students, kids, or those who want to practice a variety of techniques without breaking the bank. Each panel features a bright-white canvas that is acid-free and primed.

This canvas works equally well with oil and acrylic. Featuring turned edges and a multiple-binder board, these panels are a sturdy option. If you’re looking for canvas paper for oil painting, then you’ll do well with this selection.

The quality of these boards is quite good, and they are very sturdy. It’s a definite plus that these panels don’t have a big, non-removable label on the back. If you’re giving a painting as a gift, you won’t have to be embarrassed by an unsightly label on the back.

Thanks to the texture of the canvas, many artists love these panels. Nonetheless, some feel that the canvas could use another coat of gesso.

Any artist who wants to practice and hone their skills will enjoy this option.

Features

  • Pack: 7.
  • Size: 11 x 14in.
  • Quality: Quality cotton pre-stretched canvases. Acid-Free
  • Suitable: for oil and acrylic painting.
  • Ideal for students, adults, and professionals.
  • Back-stapled for a clean look-ready hang and comes in standard size for easy framing

Pros

  • An inexpensive option
  • Good-quality canvas
  • Desirable canvas texture

Cons

  • Could benefit from an extra coat of gesso

8. Arteza Stretched Canvas

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Painting with oil-based paint on canvas requires a great deal of practice. When you’re ready to step up to the stretched canvas, then consider this 11-inch by 14-inch version from Arteza.

These canvases are made from 100 percent cotton. They are ideal for oils, but you also could use them with watercolors, gouache, acrylic, and tempera. Each canvas is individually stretched and then stapled onto sturdy pine wood bars.

Coated with an eight-ounce acid-free acrylic gesso, these canvases are ready to paint upon arrival. Arteza promises a 100-percent, money-back guarantee to ensure your satisfaction. Paint applies with remarkable ease to these canvases. The canvas seems to be stapled to the bars with great care, and there don’t appear to be many issues with the tightness of the stretch.

Artists praise the quality of these stretched canvases. They also approve of the reasonable price. Nonetheless, many people have had problems with a few of the canvases arriving damaged.

If you’re ready to step up to stretched canvas from canvas panels, these offer an excellent place to start.

Features

  • Pack: 8
  • Size: 11 x 14in.
  • Quality: Each large stretched canvas in this set is pre-coated with 8 oz. of acid-free acrylic gesso.
  • Suitable: from oil paints and watercolors to acrylic, tempera, and gouache.
  • Money-Back Guarantee
  • Made from 100% cotton

Pros

  • An excellent value
  • Money-back guarantee
  • High-quality option

Cons

  • An occasional canvas may arrive with a punctured hole

9. Fredrix 3501 Canvas Pads

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This canvas pad features 10 sheets of medium-textured artist’s canvas. The 12-inch by 16-inch size is ideal, and the archival quality of the canvas is a plus.

Each canvas arrives ready to paint as it has been primed with acid-free acrylic titanium. With excellent tooth, these sheets can accept several layers and are surprisingly durable. This is a cost-effective option for artists who want to practice new techniques.

Canvas pads afford great portability for artists who love to work in the field. Take this item with you everywhere so that you can paint wherever inspiration strikes. The quality of the canvas is sufficient to frame your finished work if you choose.

Artists say that they have taken this canvas pad with them all over the world. It’s simply unbeatable for inexpensive practice too. Nonetheless, some complain that removing a sheet from the pad can be tricky.

Artists seeking a portable and affordable yet still high-quality option may want to check out this canvas pad.

Features

  • Sheets: 10
  • Size: 12″ x 16″. Other sizes are also available.
  • Quality: Medium-texture cotton canvas
  • Ready to paint, acid-free acrylic titanium primed and archival quality
  • Ideal for students

Pros

  • Super portable
  • Nice texture for oils
  • A great value

Cons

  • Individual sheets can be difficult to remove

10. Daveliou Stretched Canvas Pack of Five

These high-quality stretched canvases are available in a convenient 11-inch by 14-inch size. Each one is triple-primed to ensure its readiness to accept oil paint. Thanks to individual wrapping, each of the five canvases stays clean until it’s ready to be used. The canvases have a spring-like surface that’s ideal, and they feature a fine weave for detailed work.

With careful stapling and a sturdy beveled stretcher bar frame, this is an excellent choice for artists from beginners to professionals. A one-year, money-back guarantee protects your purchase.

Artists offer praise for the quality craftsmanship that goes into each stretched canvas. Rare complaints relate to the occasional sloppy corner.

These well-made stretched canvases are true winners.

Features

  • Pack: 5
  • Size: 11 x 14in.
  • Quality: 100% pure cotton
  • Suitable: for oil, acrylic, watercolor, and tempera.
  • Satisfaction Guaranteed: 1-year money-back guarantee
  • Portable, rugged, water-resistant, and with a non-yellowing surface.

Pros

  • Excellent texture
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Triple primed

Cons

  • May occasionally encounter a damaged corner

Factors to Consider

Canvas is the material of choice for oil painters. It’s been used for centuries to provide the backdrop for beautiful works of art. However, there are many different types of canvas, and this means that it’s not always easy to choose the right one for you and your project.

Canvas feels great beneath the brush and ensures the longevity of the artist’s creation. It’s lighter and easier to use than the wood that painters used long ago, and it can be formed into any shape and size.

Made from

Canvas typically is made from either linen or cotton. Linen is the high-end choice, suitable for professional works of art that will be displayed for many lifetimes.

Unfortunately, linen also is costly, which means that it may not be the wisest choice for beginners or for those who just want to practice.

Cotton

Cotton is affordable, nearly as durable, and provides a suitable surface for painting. When choosing the material for oil painting on canvas for beginners, it is wise to choose cotton. Additionally, the artist will want to consider the texture of the canvas.

Texture

Canvas texture varies depending on how finely the fibers are woven.

A rougher weave may be desirable when broad brush stroke techniques are being used or when the painting is of a large scale. A more finely woven canvas is ideal for smaller, highly detailed work.

Primer

Another factor to consider is whether or not the canvas is pre-primed. Gesso, a mixture of plaster of Paris, chalk, glue, and pigment, frequently is used to prepare the canvas so that it will show the true colors of the paints.

Occasionally, artists prefer an unprimed canvas if they are trying to dull the colors used or want to do the priming themselves.

Stretched

Stretched canvas is popular with many artists. This canvas is stretched and fastened over a wooden frame. Those who are at an intermediate level or above frequently prefer this option.

Beginners may appreciate the accessibility and affordability of canvas panels. To make a panel, the primed canvas adheres to a rigid board. These are less durable than stretched canvas, and they do not offer the same level of longevity.

Making the Decision

Choosing the canvas for oil painting depends upon your project. If you’re satisfying an artistic child or want to practice techniques, then go with something like the Artlicious Canvas Panels.

Getting 12 of these sturdy canvases provides you with plenty of opportunities to practice. The cotton in this canvas is high quality, which means that your practice sessions will be a breeze.

Artists who want to try stretched canvas are encouraged to take a closer look at products from Arteza. Each canvas is stretched with great care, and the stretcher boards are sturdy.

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