top of page

Canvas Painting 101- Blog Series Part 1

Chapter 1 – A Journey into the World of Canvas Painting

canvas on easel for canvas painting

For many years, human beings have communicated their thoughts, feelings, and ideas through the captivating medium of painting. From the earliest cavemen using berry and plant-based pigments to tell stories of great hunts to the modern artist's intricate canvases, there's an undeniable urge to share our world through pictures. As the saying goes, "A picture is worth a thousand words," and with colors and design, you can paint the emotions and experiences that words can't express.

The Timeless Art of Expression

painting of little girl with flowers

Whether it's a woman in a garden yearning for her lover or a little girl a field of wildflowers, a well-crafted canvas painting can transport the viewer to a world of memories and feelings. All of this magic takes place on a blank canvas, brought to life with the stroke of a brush.

Embrace the Unknown

But where do you begin? If you've spent years sketching and drawing, picking up a paintbrush might feel like venturing into uncharted territory. Embrace this new journey! Those brushes that seem foreign now will soon become your trusted companions, as familiar as the charcoal pencil on your sketch pad.

The Heart of Your Canvas - Paints and Mediums

Paints are the soul of your canvas, allowing you to add style and creativity to your artwork. With a single tear drop, you can introduce a world of emotions simply by adding color. The type of paint you choose can also open the door to even more creativity.

Oils vs. Acrylics: The Divergent Pathways of Expression

For artists embarking on extensive projects, oil paints offer a slower drying time, providing flexibility and the ability to rejuvenate your work with a little turpentine or mineral spirits. Your brushes must be kept in pristine condition, though, as they can lose their shape if left to soak in the cleaning solution for too long. Each brushstroke is a dance, and your tools must be in perfect harmony.

oil paint for canvas painting

On the flip side, acrylic paints offer lightning-fast drying times, making them ideal for quick projects that need a vibrant, fresh look. Clean-up is a breeze; a simple rinse with soap and water will do the trick, and your brushes will be ready for their next masterpiece.

acrylic paint for canvas painting

The best way to start your canvas painting journey is to experiment with different mediums. Try out oils and get acquainted with acrylics. You'll soon discover which one resonates with you most. Playing with each medium helps you understand how the paints mix, how they flow onto the canvas, and how to achieve those perfect blends—essential skills for any novice artist.

Choosing the Perfect Canvas

Choosing the right canvas is another piece of the puzzle. There are stretch canvases, rolled canvases, canvas boards, and canvas mats, each suitable for various styles, artwork, and paint types. Let your intuition guide you in selecting the canvas that feels most comfortable under your brush.

buying canvas for canvas painting


The information can become overwhelming when you start painting on canvas. Getting

to know the terminology will help clear some things up a little bit. Here are some terms

we will be using in this series.

Abstract – abstract art depicts the subject by using form and color. You may see a

resemblance to the original piece. However, the subject is generally represented in

more geometric shapes than the natural setting.

Accent – Giving exceptional detail to a certain object in the painting to bring attention to


Acrylic – A type of paint which dries quickly. It can easily be cleaned up with mineral


Alla Prima – Meaning “at the first” in Italian, this phrase means the painting is

completed with just one sitting.

Cool colors – Colors associated with the cold such as blue.

Color Wheel – Any full spectrum circular diagram which represents the relationships of

colors. This allows the colors to be compared for contrast.

Composition – The arrangement of the elements in an art piece.

Medium – The type of pain being used to create a work of art. It can also mean the

binder, usually an oil.

Palette – The painter's board where colors can be mixed and and different hues can be


Perspective – Being able to reproduce the same height, depth, and distance perception

in a two dimensional medium that the human eye would perceive.

Pigment – The colored substance created by natural elements and synthetic ones

which are mixed with certain binders to create paints.

Primary colors – A color which can not be created by mixing other colors. The only

three primary colors are red, blue, and yellow. With these three all other colors can be

created. (White is not a color. It is the absence of color. Black is the combination of all


Secondary colors – Any color which can be created from mixing the primary colors,

such as violet, green, and orange.

Warm colors – Hues which represent warmth such as orange, red, yellow.

Share Your Experience

Have you begun your own canvas painting journey? We'd love to hear about your experiences, insights, and any questions you might have. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

In the next post, "Chapter 2 – Understanding Paints," we'll explore the diverse world of paint types and their unique characteristics. Stay tuned for the next chapter in our canvas painting adventure.

10 views0 comments


bottom of page