The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Perfect Canvas at Hobby Lobby

My Journey to Discover the Wide World of Canvases at the Popular Craft Store

As an art enthusiast who loves to paint, I’m always on the lookout for high-quality, affordable canvases. My local Hobby Lobby is a go-to spot when I need new surfaces for my acrylic or oil paintings. I used to just grab whatever basic canvas was available, not giving the purchase much thought. But the more I’ve explored the aisles at Hobby Lobby, the more I’ve discovered they offer a huge variety of canvas options.

On a recent trip, I felt like a kid in a candy store as I wandered up and down the whole art supply section and stumbled upon different canvas shapes, sizes, textures, and prep levels. I never knew there were so many choices! From basic bulk packs of canvases to premium artist-grade linen canvases, Hobby Lobby has something for every painting project and budget.

In this post, I’ll take you through my journey to discover the wide world of canvases at Hobby Lobby. Whether you’re a beginner painter looking for your first canvas or a veteran artist needing specialty surfaces, you’re sure to find what you need. Let’s dive in!

Stretched Canvases: The Classic Painting Surface

The first stop on my canvas adventure was the huge assortment of stretched canvases. For those unfamiliar, a stretched canvas is fabric pulled taut over a wooden frame. The canvas gets securely attached or “stretched” over the frame. This creates a smooth, flat surface primed and ready for painting.

Hobby Lobby has stretcher bars in every size imaginable, from tiny 5″x7″ canvases perfect for quick studies to giant 48″x60″ canvases ideal for large-scale paintings. The most common sizes I saw were 8″x10″, 11″x14″, 16″x20″, and 18″x24″. They also have square canvases like 12″x12″ or 20″x20″ if you want an even shape.

Beyond just the sizes, I was thrilled to find options galore in terms of canvas fabric textures and prep levels. There’s basic cotton duck canvas, mid-weight cotton canvas, heavyweight cotton for really thick texture, linen for a rougher tooth, and premium Belgian linen that almost felt silky. Some canvases come already gessoed and ready to paint, while others are unprimed so you can prep and prime them yourself.

With this huge selection, I can find the perfect stretched canvas for every painting style and subject matter. The lightweight cotton is great for loose impressionist florals, while ultra-smooth Belgian linen would make an ideal surface for a photorealism portrait.

Canvas Panels: Portable & Versatile Painting Supports

In another aisle, I found myself mesmerized by the towering shelves stuffed with canvas panels. These are basically like miniature stretched canvases but mounted on cardboard instead of bars. Canvas panels are more portable and economical than large stretched canvases.

Hobby Lobby’s canvas panel collection contains a similar assortment of fabric options like cotton, linen, acrylic-primed, self-primed, etc. The panel sizes start as small as 4″x6″ for miniature paintings, up to 18″x24″ for larger works. I even spotted square 8″x8″ panels which would be perfect for abstract designs.

What I really appreciate about the canvas panel selection is the multi-packs containing anywhere from 2 to 20 panels in one convenient bundle. They even have a 50-pack of 5″x7″ panels – an amazing deal for just $35! With so many primed surfaces ready to go, these multi-packs are a perfect option for getting in lots of practice doing small studies.

Canvases for Oil & Acrylic: Specialized Surfaces for Each Medium

As I ventured into the oil painting supplies, I came across another huge assortment of canvases designed specifically for oil painting. The cotton canvas had a denser weave and heavier priming made for oil paint. I spotted canvases marketed as “oil primed” or “acrylic primed” which tells me that the gesso level differs based on the medium.

What fascinated me were the canvas options designed to really make oil paints shine. For instance, I saw a canvas infused with wax that creates a luminous, reflective surface great for the slow-drying oils. Another had an acrylic resin coating intended to make blending oils easier. There were even canvases treated with copper leaf flakes or pearl mica powders to make the colors practically glow.

Of course, Hobby Lobby also has canvases optimized for us acrylic painters! Some are coated with extra-absorbent grounds designed to avoid puddling when working with thinner acrylic paint. There are acrylic-specific canvases coated with heavy gesso for better adhesion and brightness of colors.

With all these options, I can really geek out and find the perfect surface engineered just for how I like to work with each type of paint. It makes me want to grab one of every type just to play around and see the difference!

Bulk Canvases: Affordable Deals for High Volume Painting

Beyond the individually-stretched canvases, I stumbled into an area stuffed with bulk canvas packs offering some amazing deals. These allow you to buy canvases at wholesale prices in large quantities.

The most jaw-dropping find was a 50-pack of 16″x20″ cotton canvases for only $170. That’s just around $3 per canvas for a high-quality pre-primed painting surface! There were similarly huge packs of 8″x10″ canvases with 100 pieces for $100. For art classes, paint parties, or busy artists churning out lots of work, these bulk canvas packs are a dream.

Hobby Lobby also offers more affordable canvas roll packs which are fantastic if you want to stretch your own canvases. The pack contains yards of primed canvas material rolled up on a tube, plus wood slats and hardware to build frames. As a bonus these include instructions for stretching the canvas.

With the roll pack I could customize all my canvas sizes and save money by stretching them myself. I felt giddy imagining all the potential paintings I could create with so much canvas ready to go!

Artist Grade Linen: Premium Surfaces for Professional Work

Just when I thought I’d seen it all, I turned down the fine art aisle and discovered the artist-grade linen canvases that look fit for a gallery. These are your high-end professional surfaces made from premium Belgian linen sourced from centuries-old European mills.

I slowly ran my fingers over the canvases, enjoying the rich, irregular texture. The linen fibers are thicker and rougher than cotton, with a gorgeous slit weave that will add texture and reflect light beautifully. These canvases are sold individually, priced anywhere from $30 to $100 based on the size.

While expensive, the quality is unmatched. The frames are solid wood, cradled on the back for stability. The linen is impregnated with gesso for archival longevity. For painters selling their work or entering shows, investing in these elite canvases is worth it. Even for hobbyists like myself, they’d be a splurge for that special masterpiece canvas.

Choosing the Right Canvas: Tips for Any Project

After hours exploring Hobby Lobby’s canvas wonderland, my head was spinning with all the possibilities! But I also picked up some useful tips on how to choose the right canvas for any painting:

  • Weave & Texture: Linen and heavy cotton provide toothy texture for thick impasto techniques, while smooth cotton or Belgian linen work for delicate blending.
  • Priming: Self-primed supports require extra prep but offer control over texture. Pre-primed and gessoed canvases are instant painting surfaces.
  • Price: Basic bulk packs are great for practice and studies. Invest in higher-end artist canvases for important commissions or shows.
  • Size: Scale the canvas appropriately for the subject matter and painting style.
  • Medium: Pick oil-primed supports for oils and acrylic-primed for acrylics and watercolors.
  • Quantity: Single canvases allow focusing on one piece, while multi-packs provide variety.

By taking the time to understand the canvas options, you can find the perfect surface to bring your artistic vision to life. Don’t settle for the first canvas you see – explore all the possibilities!

Stretch Your Skills: DIY Canvases & Classes

Beyond the pre-made variety, I also discovered DIY canvas kits so you can build your own from scratch. Hobby Lobby has rectangle and triangle canvas kits in different sizes. Each comes with wood slats, staples, and unprimed cotton canvas you custom cut and attach to the frame yourself.

For beginners, they even offer kits with pre-cut canvas material so you simply wrap and staple it to assemble the frame. I love that these let me create unusual shaped canvases beyond just squares and rectangles. DIY canvas making would be a fun rainy day activity to hone fine motor skills.

To improve your skills further, Hobby Lobby provides classes and instructional videos on canvas stretching, priming, and painting techniques. I watched a tutorial from one of their partner artists explaining how to properly prime and prepare blank canvases before painting. With some guidance, even novice artists can prep and customize their own surfaces.

Satisfaction Guaranteed: Return Policy & More

After stocking up on canvases in all styles and budgets, I felt confident thanks to Hobby Lobby’s customer-friendly policies. All canvases come with a money-back satisfaction guarantee if the quality doesn’t meet your expectations. I can try out new types of canvases and return them if they don’t work out.

If I end up with some irregular canvases due to the handmade stretching process, their free canvas repair service has me covered. Rather than getting rid of slightly imperfect canvases, they’ll fix minor dents, bumps, or tears for free. Hobby Lobby also offers custom canvas framing for finished paintings.

Between the satisfaction guarantee, repair services, and framing options, I know I’ll come back with all my future canvas needs. My local Hobby Lobby will be like a second art studio for experimenting with canvases!

Expanding My Canvas Horizons

While I thought I knew canvases, this deep dive showed me how much there is to discover at Hobby Lobby. I’m eager to experiment with new textures and techniques thanks to their massive selection. From basic multipacks to premium artist-grade linen, they have something to ignite any creative passion.

The next time inspiration strikes me for a painting, I’ll remember to think outside the box and find the perfect canvas to bring my vision to life. Maybe an extra-large Belgian linen canvas for a bold abstract color study, or small pre-primed cotton panels for quick landscape sketches? The options are endless.

So fellow art enthusiasts, I hope this post has inspired you to venture beyond the ordinary and try out the huge canvas selection at Hobby Lobby. Find surfaces that complement and enhance your unique painting style. Let the creative magic happen on the perfect custom canvas for you! Our next masterpiece awaits.

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