I have seen very few paintings on round canvas. Mostly artists and collectors prefer square?rectangular canvases. is there a specific reason for this? In art galleries also one gets to see only rectangular or squares in various sizes. I often wonder why?

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When I go to the craft store or art supply store I usually see square or rectangular canvases, although some stores do carry round or oval canvases. They typically have a bigger selection of squares and rectangles though, in a wide range of sizes, while the rounds and ovals are more limited in size selection, and therefore seem like more of a novelty. Similar, when I go to galleries or museums most paintings are square or rectangular.

In a way it's like the question of which came first, the chicken or the egg? If there were more round or oval canvases readily available, would artists use them more, and would people buy them more? Would the demand increase?

In the US it is easy to buy round or oval canvases over the Internet - probably easier than buying the right size in person from a local store. So if artists don't mind paying shipping costs, they can get round canvases pretty easily.

Michelangelo did a famous round painting, the Doni Tondo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doni_Tondo I'm sure there are lots of other paintings throughout history who used round or oval canvases, but this was the first one I thought of.

I think round canvases have a nice harmony to them. I'm betting that if art buyers fall in love with the piece, it doesn't matter if the canvas is square, round, rectangular, oval, etc.

I'm guessing round frames would be more difficult to make for round work.

Thanks Thaneeya, Kristi. I suppose u r so right. It is not about the shape of the canvas, it's about the work. and Yes, it is costlier to get round frames.

It's the same thing over here in Malta... round and oval canvases are found in limited amounts and in limited sizes - and I love curves more than straight lines as it is easier to confine a composition with the imposed lines of a round or oval canvas.

Hereunder are my thoughts:
There is the problem with the difficulty of making a round / oval frame for the canvas
Making a one-off round / oval canvas (hand-made) would be too costly
Framing a round / oval canvas with a square / rectangular frame, would add 4 new negative shapes at the corners
Few individuals commission works on round / oval canvases

I still execute work on a round / oval bases (wood, canvas, paper) - but I either leave them as these are; frame them over a square / rectangular textured or designed pass-partout so that this complements the work; and sometimes I try to find some frames that have a circular or oval aperture of the approximate size of the work, which could be easily sanded and repainted to match the work (some of these frames would be somewhat ornate and at times squarish)

Hope this helps
Ton-Ton

I think it’s because a lot of paintings are like looking out a window or a doorway.  Round feels a little awkward to me, unless it’s some kind of abstract.  ??

For a Parallellogram shaped canvas, I think the best way is to make/stretch one out yourself.
You can always cut a parallellogram shaped backing (wood) and affix unprimed canvas onto it (some shops sell canvas rolls) ... I did this for a couple of custom made round canvases :)
Also, you can cut the wood and prime it for the paint to adhere to :D
Hey there
Of course that would be unique... that's why I wouldn't even dream to tell you to give up. The devil is in the details... and we artists manage to strive, adapt, and come with alternative solutions :)
I know how you feel... since where I'm from I have to purchase most of the supplies from international sellers and have them shipped... or else I try to find the next best solution

Yes, you can find any carpenter who could glue the canvas to the wood and cut them together himself/herself professionally :p Or else you can go to a traditional artshop (those that still stretch their own canvas boards) or a respected-generation old frame-maker... no harm in asking. You might be surprised
It has been done before, so there shouldn't be a problem
What do you think?

I'd say go for it... keep us posted mate
P.S. call me Ton-Ton :D

I have to say, I wish I could find pre-made round stretched canvas.  But while reading all the great ideas here, I thought about drum frames.  I imagine they'd be easy to find in music stores, but I know for certain any Native American supplier will carry drum frames in varying sizes, and not too expensive either.  Some come in kits, so you can make it yourself with the hide, and paint on that.  I took apart a clock from the dollar store, and used that as a frame for a piece of deer hide.  Or maybe those hoops for embroidery will work?  lol, got me brainstorming now!  :-)

Also, do y'all think I could sew canvas to a frame?  Lace it up and pull it tight around a round frame, is what I'm thinking.  Just like I would with hide.  I'm just not sure the canvas wouldn't fray or rip.

try art chef, Marcia. I think the site is artchef.com. They have round canvas in all sizes.

LOL...
now you see my cocundrum! :p
yes we are in the middle of nowhere... you said right that you had to zoooooom in and rezoooom... had that same problem with a friend, who just couldn't find the speck of rock.
alas think I was born here... what is here? well... it is one mass of densely populated rock, with some fields, 1 wood, lots of Maltese (no Malteser factories sorry)... and we speak Maltese
it is best if you stumble upon our islands if you're a tourist.... living here, well it got its ups and downs....
no, no ships running into us, coastline is fully inhabited so at night, instead of lighthouses or fires, you can see the lit streets and buildings.
Interner I get it from a cable which comes of of the wall, and into my computer :p we got WiFi as well
Art Supplies... well I question the products we get here (we are surrounded by salt and water... so sometimes I wonder) - we don't get much, sometimes one has to order from abroad (America too expensive - Italy so and so - most of mine I get from England, shipping cost vary)
sometimes i have to make my own bases - humidity tends to get high, so you can't keep some additional stock (yes, little colonies of mould would start to develop, expand, and conquer most items)
well I don't like it much here... the only thing that kept me here was my family and some of my friends... otherwise the sea is nice (few sharks - no pirhanas, crocodiles, krakens that we know of - but you get the occassional mutated jelly-fish) - like the culture and our history ... also, since it is a very very small island, as you can see, you get from one place to another in no time (traffic is a pain though)...

Marcia as Ruth has said stitching along the sides of the canvas, would eventually tear it up
tried it once with eyelets, but the canvas just wobbled onto itself after a couple of months...

i know of a couple of people who like to have different shaped canvases for their artwork, as they feel they would be owning a one of a kind painting.... since we are an island, there are very few of those, the majority stick to traditition... don't know if any of you, like me, experience this strong and tradtional trend!


I made this about 6 years ago for a friend.  There is a sight that you can get the materials to make your own drums.  I would have to search for sight and get back to you


Jean Robbolino said:

Hello there Ruth,

Mainly internet reaches us buy cable... there is option for internet by satellite as well. Surprisingly enough, both have the same speed and same problems :D
hehe... everytime some eccentric style, person or movement gets to our island, you can see the old fathers poking it with a stick and a couple of blazen torches :p
Most paintings get sold on the mainland (we have been seeing a decreasing interest in art and culture and lately) - some tourists do buy artworks (as long as these can be carried - small sketches, unframed canvas) ; but not that too many that our economy soars according to the seasons - then there are others who would be interested, but still, shipping rates are expensive and there is some bureaucracy (when I had to ship 14 drawings and paintings to the UK, I had to sign paperworks that I was shipping my own art - and these were checked by the customs as well - in case I wanted to smuggle a stolen painting :( ), so you either have to be so established that it is not a problem for you, or you are well off as an individual ; but we young ones still are striving and not giving up ;)
Website works greatly - the internet has really opened doors for us to keep abreast with the international styles and other artists - selling over the internet = shipping prob - but I have my fingers crossed that one day things will be moderate for us.
There is the little prob that most Maltese art that is loved by the locals is purely Abstract ... !!! we are still in the 60s mentality - there is an artist's-circle (the old modern masters) - etc
Or else prints of paintings that are: modern or semi-abstract + those mass-market canvases
Landscapes are getting some interest - figurative so and so (male nude is a taboo for example and there was a roar when an international artist got cencored) - fantasy art is still in its roots
On the other hand, I always sell about 1/4-3/4 of the paintings I exhibit - so basically, things are rolling fast :D

Yet again, we have some nice artistic spots, nice weather, and very traditional customs .... so a visit here is worthwhile :)

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