I recently discovered that there is a best time to buy canvases at Michael’s. They have several big sales each year where you can get 70% off canvases by Artist Loft. This is a huge plus if you like to buy the gallery canvases which are normally very expensive.
The sale typically applies to value packs and level 1, 2 & 3 canvases which are based on the painter’s level of experience. The lowest level relates to the lesser quality for beginners while the highest level reflects a professional artist’s level. No matter which you choose, you unfortunately in my opinion, still have to gesso and prepare the canvas before you start painting, even though the description says that the canvases have already been gesso primed. Each canvas has a rough texture and when you put several layers of gesso in your preparation, it makes the canvas more smooth which makes your brush and paint glide across the canvas much better. In addition, the finished project looks more polished. The value packs I find over time may become warped and I am still trying to figure out how to unwarp them. The other more expensive canvases, I have not yet found a problem with and are the best quality.
Types of Canvases I’ve Seen in 70% off Sale at Michael’s
- Value Pack; Lowest priced and perfect for beginners. a stretched and primed canvas with stapled-back frames. (pictured)
- Academic level 1; a back stapled traditional canvas with titanium acrylic gesso primed.
- Artist level 2; a gallery wrapped, traditional canvas on medium weight cotton duck surface. In addition, primed with a titanium acrylic gesso and built with a professional frame construction. (pictured)
- Professional level 3; a heavy duty, gallery wrapped canvas on a heavy weight cotton duck surface. In addition, primed with a titanium acrylic gesso and built with a professional frame construction. (pictured)
I have seen these sales pop up now and then throughout the year and sometimes they are for two days only! Register at Michael’s and install their app to receive notifications when the sales are happening. In the last 6 months, I have seen this sale pop up in November after Thanksgiving, and the tail end of March, first week of April as well as June. The last sale they had a couple weeks ago, I was cleaning house and received a text that it was there last day of the sale, and the next thing I knew, I was in the car and headed to town! 🙂