Why Use Omega-Bond® or Alumalite® as an Art Canvas?
While the majority of paintings today are on canvas, it’s not always the best choice for painting. In fact, if not properly protected, painted canvases may crack over time.
Canvas is hygroscopic, meaning that it readily absorbs and releases moisture from the environment. As humidity in the air changes, canvas absorbs and releases moisture to maintain equilibrium with these changes, and causes the material to expand and contract. Canvas is also a very flexible material that is biaxial, meaning it expands and contracts at different rates according to its axes—the weft and warp direction of the yarns.
Canvas expands and contracts at different rates than the paint layers applied to it, which produces mechanical stress on the paint as the environment changes. Since temperature and relative humidity constantly change, the canvas and paint do as well. While you may not see these changes as they are happening, over time, they are stressing the art, which may lead to drying, cracking, wrinkling, cupping and/or paint loss. In addition, the artwork could seem as if it is quite taught or sagging as the canvas expands and contract, or if the canvas is not properly supported.
Paintings on rigid supports (ie, wood, stone and metal) with lower response to environmental changes are typically preserved for longer periods of time because the support does not induce as much stress on the paint film. Artists concerned about the life expectancy of their work should choose a rigid material as a support to help increase the longevity of their paintings.
Omega-Bond and Alumalite Panels – The Best Support for Painting
Omega-Bond and Alumalite aluminum composite material (ACM) from Laminators Incorporated offer a superior support for painting and mounting because ACM panels are virtually unaffected by environmental changes, such as relative humidity and temperature. The advantages of using an ACM panel include:
- Dimensional stability
- Long term durability
- Available in large sizes
- Various thicknesses available
Omega-Bond and Alumalite are ideal for painting when primed with water- or oil-based primers or for mounting canvas and paper since ACM panels have very low response to environmental changes. These weather-resistant panels are ideal for a wide range of paint mediums (depending on the surface prep) and mounting applications including:
- Drawing, i.e., charcoal, ink and silverpoint
- Encaustic and wax
- Oil and alkyd
- Tempera, i.e., casein, egg, hide glue (distemper)
- Watercolor and gouache
- Mounting canvas and paper