It can be intimidating to start painting on canvas if you haven’t done it before, but with the right materials and technique, you’ll be a pro in no time!
Follow these 5 simple steps to paint on canvas like the pros.
The best way to begin is by doing some research and reading. The internet has lots of free, interactive tutorials and videos that make learning how to draw on canvas much easier than it used to be. Start there, and then get your hands dirty. You don’t have to splurge on fancy art books—most feature step-by-step guides you can follow along with at home.
And while online tutorials are a good place to start, nothing beats personal instruction from an artist who actually knows how they want their art created—even if it means meeting with several potential instructors before finding one you feel comfortable with. A good instructor will ask you questions about your project so they can tailor their advice specifically to your goals.
Preparing the Canvas
To prepare your canvas for painting, you need only some gesso (primer) and/or rabbit skin glue (if you want to add texture). Brush onto your primed surface using thin strokes. Gesso gives it a smooth, glassy feel, while rabbit skin glue lets it have more of an earthy feel. It all depends upon what kind of mood you’re trying to set! Work quickly so that neither product dries out or thickens too much.
If any gesso or glue drips down past where your actual painting will be, wipe it off right away with water. Otherwise, it may dry in place and become harder than normal to remove later on. Paint: Once your canvas is properly prepared, it’s time to start painting! I recommend starting by laying down a base coat of color. This can be done in one of two ways: either by mixing together paints yourself or by using paint markers designed specifically for use on canvases.
Brushes and Materials
The key to mastering any medium is choosing your tools wisely. Cheap brushes won’t keep a sharp point, making them difficult (and frustrating) to use. Cheap canvases crack and warp with time, making it tough to get an even coat of paint. The most important aspect of picking up painting as a hobby is buying good quality materials (i.e., a higher price doesn’t always mean better).
When it comes down to brushes, it’s very difficult for professional artists much fewer beginners to create quality art without investing money into their equipment first.
As far as canvases go, try out several different styles until you find one you’re comfortable working with that also offers good value for your dollar. Finally, remember that while it might be tempting to pick up all new supplies right away, resist the urge; some older brushes or leftover canvases from past projects can come in handy.
For example, if you have some old pieces lying around from previous projects, practice laying out different colors on them so when you’re ready to buy new ones, later on, you’ll know exactly what color schemes work well together. Also, don’t be afraid of using scrap pieces of wood or cardboard as makeshift palettes before purchasing expensive artist’s palettes either!
The Stages of Painting
The first thing you’ll want to do is clear your workspace. If you’re painting with acrylics, use brushes that are meant for acrylics and dispose of them if they’ve ever been used with oils. Wipe down any surfaces that may be affected by dripping paint or spills. Make sure you have proper ventilation so fumes don’t affect you—or anybody else who’s nearby.
Then get ready to set up your palette. You can choose from premade palettes (available at most art stores) or make one yourself: just lay out some paper towels and put some water-based paint on it (about three parts water to one part paint). Then, pick out a couple of colors that will work well together.
You can also try mixing colors right there on your palette as you go along; just remember not to mix too much at once because it will dry out quickly! Now comes the fun part: choosing what you want to paint! Think about what sort of scene would look good as a painting: maybe an outdoor scene, like trees against a blue sky? Or something indoors, like flowers in a vase?
Don’t get frustrated. Have fun!
If you’re attempting your first painting, chances are it won’t be a masterpiece. And that’s okay! Remember, art is subjective. It’s your opinion of what looks beautiful that matters most. Go into your project with a positive attitude and you will see improvement every time you sit down at your easel.
If you find yourself frustrated or ready to give up, take a break! It’s important not to get too worked up about things when painting—after all, it’s supposed to be fun! When an idea doesn’t come together as planned or if you just don’t feel inspired anymore, step away from your canvas for at least 30 minutes and then try again later.
So there you have it – five simple steps to painting on canvas. You can practice and experiment as much as you’d like, so long as you stay within your budget and don’t go overboard. (By spending too much money, you’ll find it hard to walk away from your creation.) So dive right in; with these simple tips, anyone can learn how to paint on canvas.
Hi I’m Bilal Malik, a digital marketing and blogging expert holding years of experience.