The process of a commission – the stretcher

A Large Painting Stretcher. Always a project to build.
So I’m working on a commission of the Last Supper.  The first words out of my client’s mouth were: “I don’t want a copy of the famous one, I want it in your style.”  Feeling relieved, I checked out the space in her house it will hang. I made notes about the dimensions and architecture, and found a suitable size for the wall it’ll hang on: 11′ by 5.5′.  With the dimensions down, I started a couple rough sketches, worked out some spacial ideas, and got approval on a preliminary sketch we both liked a lot.

stretcher bars

After a trip to the hardware store to buy all the wood and hardware I’ll need for the stretcher (turnbuckles!!!), , I brought it all back to my studio. Then I spent a quiet Saturday afternoon sweating over the tablesaw. Soon, the construction on the behemoth was complete.  

It turned out great, and after stretching the canvas, it was as tight as a drum.  One layer of rabbit skin glue sizing later, and the canvas surface is ready. After its final preparations, I can transfer the drawing to the painting stretcher and get on with the real work!