Canvas has been used for generations by most artists as it was a perfect medium for painting onto using oil paints. As time progressed acrylic oils were invented and lend themselves perfectly for painting onto canvas. Oil Colour and Acrylic Colour can be used on similar surfaces due to the nature and consistency of the paint. Both can be painted straight from the tube and are characteristically thick, heavy bodied colour.
However as both types of colour can also be thinned, each medium has its own additional surfaces that can also be used. Below you will find a brief overview of the surfaces which can be used.
Surfaces for Oil Colour
Stretched, primed canvas is the traditional and most common support for oil colour, although there are a variety of additional supports and surfaces that are suitable for oils.
Wood panels, MDF and other masonite types are good for stability and offer proven longevity and a surface that will not flex. Canvas boards are also great for outdoor work, offering the same unique, double-primed painting surface as stretched canvases but are less easily damaged when painting en plein air.
Surfaces for Acrylic Colour
Acrylics can be used on a large variety of supports, including canvas, paper, wood, degreased leather, brickwork, or anything which is neither greasy nor too glossy. Professionals and those painters using an oil technique favour canvas whilst paper is used by those working in a water colour style.

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