Stretching and priming a canvas

Course Dates: 18/06/24 - 02/07/24
Time: 10:00 - 17:00
Location: Keeley Street
This course is a must for painters wishing to stretch and prime their own canvases and paper. Learn about the properties of different types of painting supports, and the best materials for preparing surfaces and glazes for painting.
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Full fee £259.00 Senior fee £207.00 Concession £168.00

Stretching and priming a canvas
  • Course Code: VM433
  • Dates: 18/06/24 - 02/07/24
  • Time: 10:00 - 17:00
  • Taught: Tue, Daytime
  • Duration: 3 sessions (over 3 weeks)
  • Location: Keeley Street
  • Tutor: Stuart Jones

Course Code: VM433

Tue, day, 18 Jun - 02 Jul '24

Duration: 3 sessions (over 3 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Centre for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

You will learn the technique of stretching a canvas around a frame in preparation for priming and painting. You will also learn how to stretch different types of paper for water-colour and other mediums for painting on paper.
We will explore different primers and grounds, such as gesso, and special primers for a variety of painting surfaces, as well as how to build up a layered ground with glazes.

Please bring your own stretcher frame (max size 60cm x 80cm) –
Canvas and other primers and mediums will be provided.

What will we cover?

- Techniques for stretching canvas around a frame

- Different types of primer for a variety of painting surfaces

- Priming and glazing techniques for different painting mediums, eg oils, acrylic, gouache or watercolour.

- The ways in which historical artists have prepared their supports and used mediums and glazing in their work.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Use appropriate stretching materials to stretch a canvas around a stretcher frame.
- stretch different types of paper
- Use a range of priming techniques from oil based to water based primer.
- Use glazing techniques and glazing mediums to build up layers of paint
- Identify how other artists from different periods prepared their own painting surfaces.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions to support demonstrations, hand-outs and for health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Demonstration and practical application. One to one and group discussion.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Please bring your own stretcher frame (max size 60cm x 80cm) – canvas and mediums will be provided.
Other basic materials will be provided but you are welcome to bring any extra or special materials.


When I've finished, what course can I do next?

A natural progression for students would be onto any of the City Lit painting courses such as Painting 1, 2 or 3 (depending on ability), or any of the Watercolour courses. Students could use their stretched and primed surfaces for their next course.

Stuart Jones

Stuart Jones has been teaching painting and drawing for 17 years, predominantly on the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design course at London College of Fashion and at Oaklands College in St Albans. He studied Fine Art at Leeds Metropolitan University and has been practicing as an artist for over twenty years. He is a painter working mainly in oil paint and mixed media on canvas. His work is informed by the urban and rural landscape and ideas of utopia, dystopia and the sublime. He is currently a fellow at Digswell arts and was shortlisted for the Beep Painting Prize (2022), John Moores Painting Prize (2020) and awarded the Contemporary Arts Trust Prize (2019). Stuart exhibits nationally, has work in numerous private collections and his work has been loaned to MGM Studios, Paramount British Pictures and the BBC. For more information please visit:

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.