Stretching & Sizing Linen

I love making progress on the tasks. This weekend I stretched 3 canvases and this morning scrubbed the sizing onto them.

On the top is a closeup of the Best Pro stretcher bar, stretched and sized (note the clean corners!). The Best system is essentially an aluminum frame with wood for stapling and wrapping the fabric. It was easy to put together (except the pilot holes for the corner pieces aren't large enough for the screws they provide.) It's a little pricey but it's for a 26" x 36"commissioned  painting that will be shipped to Arkansas. I've had a little trouble lately with warping and there's some humidity down there so this is my insurance.

After I stretch the linen so that it's as tight as a drum*, I scrub the size into the fabric with a large bristle brush. I use Gamblin's PVA for this and scrub it on front, back and on the sides.

Tomorrow I start applying the oil primer.

Notes on materials:
The oil priming brush that I'm using is currently on sale at Utrecht for about $10. It's a great brush, I plan to pick up another one. This is 144 linen, a medium smooth texture, also from Utrecht. I've not used it before so I hope I love it!

*I used heavy duty canvas pliers (don't buy the lightweight ones - they just don't work) for the stretching AND I've been using hand weights. You have to have strong arms and hands for larger paintings.