In any art supply store there is cheap canvas, and then there is the more expensive kind – which type I buy depends on exactly which painting techniques I will be using. The main difference between the 2 is the amount of gesso coating. You can’t go by labels such as ‘triple coated’ either. It seems that those 3 coats are incredibly thin sometimes. The result of not enough gesso is to make the canvas surface too absorbent. The paint soaks in too much instead of moving easily across the surface – not pleasant. You can fix this by rolling on a couple of coats of gesso and sanding between. I don’t like to have to spend the extra time to do that. However, if I am going to pretexture a canvas with gesso or gel before painting as I often do when working wet and wild, that will remedy the cheap canvas feel. I recommend trying some of each type of canvas to see which you prefer for the techniques that you are using. But I suggest, never buy the canvas with staples on the side . They really are bargain basement and it’s not worth doing good work on that bad a support. And a last note about canvas pad products – the cheaper ones of those are really awful to paint on. Definitely get a good brand such as Fredrix Canvas pads. It’s still cheaper than a prestretched canvas. Happy painting!