Canvas Painting Ideas – How to Get Started

Canvas Painting Ideas - How to Get StartedCanvas painting is a fantastic way to exercise the right part of the brain and everyone should explore it. That being said: looking at a blank canvas can be a bit intimidating to the beginner, after all; not everyone can come up with the right canvas painting ideas. So, in this guide, we shall explore a few methods of exercising the grey cells in order to come up with simple and creative canvas painting ideas.

Let us start with the basics.

Canvas Painting Ideas: The Basics

  • Get your goal right– Why are you looking for canvas painting ideas in the first place? Are you looking to create specific type of artwork? Do you have dedicated space and time for finishing such a project? How much money are you willing to spend on it? These questions can help you to commit before you set out to look for the canvas painting ideas. They will also help you select the right tools and materials that are necessary for implementing the canvas painting ideas.
  • Get the medium right– There are four types of canvas painting media, namely oil, water, acrylic or pastel. Decide on the medium you wish to use in your canvas painting ideas. If you are a beginner, oil is an adaptable medium and it easily lends itself to a variety of painting styles. Oil paints also dry slowly, so you can take your time to make corrections if required. Most companies make oil paints in two grades: student grade and artist grade. The latter last longer and produce more intense colors in the canvas painting ideas. Water color paints, on the other hand, are cheaper and are also recommended for children/beginners looking to paint.
  • Get the other supplies– This includes, mainly, the brushes and the accessories like palettes, easels, canvas, palette knives etc. When buying brushes, make sure you experiment with the materials, bristles-shapes etc. Generally, for oil paintings choose synthetic brushes with hog-filter tip. For water colors, choose sable or squirrel brushes and for acrylic paints-use synthetic brushes with flat tips.
  • Space and place– You need not have a studio when implementing your canvas painting ideas. The kitchen/dining table is also a good place to start. Make sure to have adequate room especially for the larger canvases. Ensure that the place you choose has adequate natural light and ample ventilation. Lamps with daylight simulation bulbs and comfortable chairs are other infrastructural needs when implementing canvas painting ideas.
  • Know your basics– Basic know-how of mixing paints can come in handy when implementing the canvas painting ideas. Also educate yourself on terms like painting thickly/thinly, dry brushing, blending and glazing, stippling, scumbling, spattering and sponging. Many art books, and online study materials can guide you in these matters.

Looking for Inspirational Canvas Painting Ideas

  • Keep a specialized journal or diary for noting the canvas painting ideas you wish to use. These may come from your daily activities, nature walks, visit to the museums etc.
  • If you see an interesting photograph in a magazine or newspaper, add a cutting of it in the inspiration journal. Keep the journal at hand always as you never know when inspiration strikes!
  • Thumb through various art books or browse online portals for creative canvas painting ideas.
  • Sometimes, visually intense or stunning films, documentaries and movies can also help you get top canvas painting ideas.
  • Artists are often inspired by music. Music can bring to mind strong emotions and words and you can then translate these into canvas painting ideas.

It is important to not get frustrated if your canvas painting ideas do not work out in the beginning. You should keep looking for inspiration as it can come in many forms. Never throw out any initial canvas painting ideas. It is important to remain calm and collected as you seek canvas painting ideas, as becoming over-emotional can actually harm your chances of coming up with the right thing to paint.


  1. Kabuubi Kassim says:

    Nice ideas.

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