Tips for painting on canvas

15 June, 2021

Tips for painting on canvas

Tips for painting on canvas

So those creative muscles are twitching decided you’re going to take the plunge and try your hand at painting on canvas – exciting stuff!

But before you start, here are our beginner’s tips for painting on canvas, so you’re ready to make some fantastic artwork that looks beautiful and stands the test of time.

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Prep the canvas

Before you get started, you need to prime your canvas – and to do that, you need some gesso. You can buy gesso from any art shop. Just spray or paint it on and it’ll give the paint something to stick to, rather than soaking into the canvas itself which would cause the painting to degrade over time. Using gesso also brings out the vibrancy of your colours, so it’s an important step!

Pick your paint

You’ve got three choices here – oil, acrylic or watercolour paints all work well on canvas. Our favourite is acrylic paint as it’s easy to use and it dries quickly, so you’re not waiting around all day to add your next layer! The rest of our tips will apply to painting with acrylic, as it’s our favourite.

Plan your acrylic canvas painting

At this point, it’s a good idea to work out your creative direction; Pinterest and Instagram come in very handy for inspiration! Depending on what you want to paint, you might want to sketch out an initial drawing to work from, or you could decide to go for an abstract piece which uses intuition more than plans; it’s your artwork and your choice.

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Get your tools

When you visit your local art shop for your gesso supplies, you also need to choose the right tools for the job; any friendly staff will be more than happy to help you choose the right brushes, sponges and palette knives. You can be even more creative with what you use by ransacking your house and using household items to make interesting shapes and textures when you’re painting on canvas.


Your canvas usually starts out white, so it’s a great idea to start out painting by covering the canvas in a background colour to set the mood of your painting. Once that’s completely dry you can get to work on your painting, making sure each layer is dry before you move onto the next.

Finishing touches

Once you’re happy with your painting, it’s time to add a layer of varnish; this makes the colours pop and provides that all-important final finish – you can choose between matt, satin or gloss. Our top tip for this final stage is to make sure the paint is absolutely dry and that you’re completely happy with your artwork before applying varnish; acrylic paint can take up to seventy-two hours to dry if it’s thick, so be patient.

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We hope you’re excited to get those creative juices flowing and start your adventures painting on canvas – but remember, you can always buy your canvas prints direct if you decide that a hobby in painting isn’t quite for you.

Tags canvas prints, canvas painting, canvas artwork, display artwork, wall prints, affordable canvas, personalised canvas, digital artwork

15 June, 2021


frame next to a house plant
framed photo by the bedside
framed landscape painting on the wall
framed picture next to a quill
holding a framed painting