Attaching small, stretched canvases to the surface of a canvas panel

Hi All,

I have an idea for an abstract art piece that will have an underpainting on a 8x10 canvas panel and then four individual paintings on 3x3 stretched mini canvases attached to the surface of the larger panel (like the pic below). My question is: has anyone ever done a similar application? If so, how did you glue the small canvases to the surface of the larger one? If no one has done this, I’d still welcome any suggestions.

The first question is are you going to paint the larger canvas BEFORE attaching the smaller ones? That will make it harder because not as many materials (white glue, adhesives) will stick well to oil paint IF you are talking oil painting. Acrylic would not be as much of a challenge.
i’m sure it would be easier to paint the background, the larger canvas without the smaller ones in the way or maybe with your plans it does not matter.

Another idea would be to forget adhesives and use industrial strength velcro. It is thinner than standard and holds unbelievably good. The adhesive on the velcro is high strength itself and the hook and loop velcro is too.
I now use it instead of adhesive to float mount paintings on masonite panels to a backer inside the frame.
I am able to separate them with a twist and pull motion to change them out if needed. When I used adhesive often the backing or the back of the painting would have some chunk off when pulling apart.
The other advantage for me is adhesive meant leaving it lay flat overnight so it would not slowly sag within the frame as the adhesive dried.

So if you used the velcro and the background wasn’t painted thick impasto it may stick to the paint other wise place the velcro first and paint around it. It won’t show later anyway.
Four small 1" or 3/4" squares located where the corners are would be plenty strong enough.

David, thanks for the response. I was planning on painting the larger canvas first or in tandem with the smaller canvases. I love the idea of using velcro. I might even be able to incorporate the velcro in as part of the painting and arrange it so the smaller canvases can be arranged in different configurations. But maybe that would be a bit ambitious :grin:.