Linen is by far the superior painting surface because of its strength and resistance to decay. Woven from flax, the weave persists throughout many layers of paint in both fine and coarse textures. Although inferior to linen, cotton is used more frequently for economic reasons. The cotton family offers many different fabric types. Duck cotton for instance, it is fairly thick and is good for all-purpose painting.
Cavnas is a porous surface, paint can seep into its fibers like a sponge. Priming the canvas prevents this seepage. The most common ground used is gesso, which should be applied in several coats. Gesso can safely be used with both oil and acrylic paints. Canvas can also be prepared with oil ground. Canvas must be sized with rabbit skin glue, PVA or equivalent sizing prior to oil ground application. Oil ground surface can only be used with oil paint as acrylic paint will not stick to the surface.