Double canvas painting ideas

Double canvas painting ideas DEFAULT

39 Beautiful DIY Canvas Painting Ideas for Your Home

You don’t have to be an art student or a famous painter to create beautiful wall art. Canvas painting is truly for all skill levels and the supply list is short too. From beach scenes to abstract designs, you can create pieces that look chic and professional.

To get you started, we’ve compiled the following list DIY canvas painting ideas. Look through the photos to determine which ones match the style of your room and home. Find inspiration to create your own custom canvas masterpiece. This unique wall art you create will be a stunning addition to your home’s wall decor.

1. Abstract Quote Canvas

Find a quote that speaks to you and stencil the letters on pieces of tape. Adhere the letters to your canvas. Choose a mix of paint colors and paint them on the canvas in large strokes. When you remove the tape, you&#;ll end up with a beautiful canvas that inspires you with its message.

2. Splash Art

Cover a canvas with paint so that it’s one solid color, then splatter vibrant colors across the surface. Create this DIY project outside to ensure the paint doesn’t splatter on anything valuable in your home.

3. Pixel Painting

Design a pixelated pattern by creating a grid of colors that are the same hue. Draw equal-sized squares across the surface of your canvas, then paint each square a slightly different tone. Your professional-looking painting can be hung in a living room, bedroom or office.

4. Geometric Canvas

Create a vertically lined canvas for your home or office. Use a pencil and yardstick to outline your design, then fill each space with complimentary paints like teal, aquamarine and white.

5. Puffy Paint Lettering

Make your DIY canvas a 3D art piece. Choose an inspiring phrase or quote and add it to your canvas with puffy paint. Make sure the paint has dried for 24 hours before hanging.

6. Cut-It-Out Canvas

Paint the surface of a blank canvas with watercolor or acrylic paints. Cut letters to a word or phrase out of contact paper, then adhere it to the canvas for a two-toned masterpiece.

7. Twinkling Canvas

Give your artwork extra flair by installing battery-operated lights. Your DIY canvas can twinkle during the holiday or throughout the whole year.

8. Simple Metallic Accent Art

Two-toned art is easy to create. Paint your canvas a solid color, like red or blue, then brush metallic paint on half of the canvas to create stylish, modern art.

9. DIY Ocean Painting

Bring the coastline right to your living room or bedroom. Brush your canvas evenly with blues and greens for a simple ocean painting.

Pinwheel Painting

For a trendy, modern look, create a pinwheel DIY canvas. Outline each triangular section first, then paint each portion a different color. Randomize the colors to make it appear natural.

Kid-friendly Love Art

Pull out the finger paints for this kid-friendly DIY canvas project. Stencil letters to spell the word &#;love&#; or &#;home&#; and let the creativity begin.

Farmhouse Flower

Floral images are some of the simplest objects to paint. Start with a flower such as a daisy or tulip. Add more to make a bouquet or keep it simplistic with just a few.

Hand Painted Monogram

Decorate a canvas with a festive design and a single letter for monogram art. Draw your design first with a pencil then choose a color of paint that will match the other decor in the room.

Yarn Art

Looking for creative canvas ideas? Consider making yarn art. Your pieces can be painted in multiple colors like yellow, blue and green. Create a collection and hang them in your living room or hallway for a gallery feel.

Gold Chevron Painting

Recreate this professional-looking artwork with painters&#; tape and acrylic paint. Make your chevron design in metallic paints or choose a rich color like navy or hunter green.

Simple Signature Art

DIY canvas art doesn&#;t have to be complicated. Cover a canvas with a single color, then paint on a quote and simple image, like mountains, trees or hearts.

DIY Herringbone Canvas

Add stylish decor to your bedroom or dining room with a colorful herringbone canvas. Create this piece in just a couple of hours with acrylic paint, sponges and painter&#;s tape.

Love-themed Watercolor

With pink and red as your color scheme, design watercolor art that bursts with love. Stencil on a quote or lyric from a favorite song for extra meaning.

Ombre Canvas Quotes

To create this look, paint the blank canvas gradually with more paint and color to create an ombre appearance. Add quotes about gratitude or love to personalize your piece.

Beach Inspired Art

Layer your canvas with blue tones to resemble flowing water. Paint on a phrase or keep it simply nautical.

Painted Roses

Choose a favorite flower, like roses or lilies, to paint on your canvas. Incorporate details like leaves and stems to make it as life-like as possible.

Holiday Canvas

Dress your home up for the holidays with a festive DIY canvas. Keep it simple with a single color background and contrasting letters.

Striped Canvas Art

Decorate your walls in simple and modern style with striped canvases. Choose colors that match your other decor, whether that&#;s green, blue or purple.

Spray Paint Art

Art should be enjoyable to create. Have fun filling the blank space on your canvas with spray paint. Mix traditional colors with metallics for a shiny finish.

DIY Kid Canvas

Involve the kids in a fun DIY canvas project on a rainy day or Saturday morning. Pull out a range of colored paints to form patterns of circles, stripes, and polka dots.

Ombre Art

By gradually intensifying the color across a canvas, you can create the ombre effect. Choose calming colors like green and blue for a relaxing ambience.

Abstract Fluid Painting

Boost the mood in your bedroom or guest room with stunning abstract art. Try fluid painting to recreate this piece that guests will mistake as professional.

Vintage Style Canvases

Find a photograph—like one of a childhood home or favorite outdoor spot—that you&#;d like to turn into a painting. Blur your lines and colors for a vintage feel.

State Canvas Art

Whether it&#;s your home state or the place you studied at in college, design artwork that sparks fond memories. Draw the outline for your state in advance, then paint a two-toned piece. Add dots or hearts to mark special towns and cities.

Stenciled Painting

Fill a canvas with stencil shapes—like circles and diamonds—then paint each piece in a random color. Build blank space into your design for balance.

All-white Art

DIY canvas paintings don&#;t need an overabundance of color. Try an all-white art piece, complete with an inspiring quote and image.

Dandelion Painting

Keep your DIY canvas project simple. Paint a dandelion on a pastel background of green or light pink. Hang your floral decor in your bathroom or guest bedroom.

Splatter Painting

Splash a canvas with bright colors like orange and pink. Throw on as much paint as you want. This DIY canvas can be hung in your living room, bedroom or basement.

Simple Quote Art

Incorporate several fonts for a lovely quote canvas. Choose a color scheme, like grey and white, for cohesion.

Wrapping Paper Artwork

Stretch pieces of wrapping paper across a canvas as the foundation for your artwork. Paint over the wrapping paper with metallic paints to accent your design.

Modern Contrast Canvas

If you want wall ideas that look professional, consider painting a canvas in a contemporary design. Use bright colors, like orange or red, to make the wall piece pop.

Large Canvas Art

Cover a large canvas with a neutral background color. Choose a simple, abstract design so you can be creative—without having to worry about minor details or perfect symmetry.

Inspirational Art

Brighten your walls with art that inspires you. Paint vibrant colors on a canvas, then add a simple image and phrase using black paint.

Cheery Sunflowers

Practice your painting skills with a simple floral design like a sunflower. Frame your artwork for your bathroom or bedroom.

Resources Related to DIY Canvas Painting Ideas

With a few canvas ideas in mind, create artwork that will look beautiful on your walls. Hand-painted pieces are often kept as keepsakes and handed down for generations. Design custom home decor to accent your new statement piece canvas painting.


Paintings on Canvas: Lining and Alternatives

The structural treatment of deteriorated oil paintings on canvas is a major concern of paintings conservators. In the past, the attachment of a second canvas to reinforce the weakened original was universal practice. This was called re-lining and later became known as lining. But in recent years the value of lining has been questioned and its disadvantages documented. A major change of opinion has occurred, reinforced by modern attitudes to conservation which place greater emphasis on preserving the original state of the canvas support and applied paint film. These attitudes in part derive from a more academic education that conservators now receive. This has largely replaced apprenticeship training, which tended to reinforce the strengths of existing practice. Now, a less interventionist approach is taken. But this approach is very dependant on the accuracy and relevance of engineering models derived from recent scientific research. The application of this knowledge to conservation practice creates an ongoing dialogue about the aims, aesthetics and ethics of conservation.

The Comparative Lining Conference

In the UKIC held a meeting on the subject of ‘Alternatives to Linings’.1 The meeting coincided with the belated publication of the often referred to papers from the Greenwich Comparative Lining Conference of These two events were an opportunity to take stock of changes during the last thirty years to conservation practice for the structural conservation of canvas paintings. This paper presents an overview of the subject and is illustrated by some examples of solutions to structural problems that have been used regularly.

The Greenwich Conference was a very significant event since it was the first opportunity to discuss this subject. It brought together a group of specialists from around the world with very different views of what was required from a lining.3 There was little meeting of minds on solutions, each described their own practice, but the full range of problems was at least identified.4 In retrospect its main value was to identify the inadequacy of our understanding.

After the conference, since there had been no agreement on what constituted a good lining, W. Percival Prescott, co-ordinator of the conference, called for a moratorium on lining to give conservators time to take stock of the situation.5 This was not what I wanted to hear and it took me some time to see its value. We had identified a hugely important issue in conservation that needed solving. My initial response was a desire to find out more and to experiment with all the options presented.6 But in museums, so the argument goes, we are able to defer lining because we know that paintings will be kept in acceptable conditions and remain available for re-examination, which allows us to reconsider our treatment if it continues to cause problems. This is not entirely true but in a museum the argument for carrying out a lining has a higher threshold.

Lining was seen as a solution but the criteria for lining had never been properly addressed. At Greenwich there was much confusion between the need to provide a sound support and the need to re-attach the paint film to the original canvas. What is a sound support? One that copes with handling and transport, tensions from humidity and temperature changes, is chemically stable and visually acceptable. A marouflage is a sound support, but that is an extreme solution. What about more subtle solutions? It was clear that we needed to know much more about the painting and the conditions to which we intend to expose it.

No-one had addressed the most fundamental questions. What is happening within the structure of a canvas painting? What forces exist within the layers of a painting on canvas? What is their magnitude? Where do they act? What are their consequences? We knew that when a wood panel is constrained it causes huge forces that can crack it from end to end. We knew that when rabbit-skin glue dries it can pull off a layer of glass from inside of a beaker. We knew that pre-stretching can cause a canvas to split. We knew that in dry conditions paintings become very brittle and can cause paint to flake. We knew that in humid conditions canvases can contract, sometimes dramatically losing areas of paint at the edges – the notorious shrinkers. We knew that with heat and pressure we can distort seemingly solid paint, mould it to our advantage or fail to control the application to everyone’s disadvantage.

Whether to line

Thomas Gainsborough An Old Horse c detail

By examining many examples of glue lined paintings and their conservation records, it was clear that the results of glue lining, particularly in the United Kingdom, had been disastrous (fig.1).7 Impasto was squashed, the canvas texture re-inforced in the paint and the precious evidence of artists’ brush-strokes were forever lost (fig.2). By contrast, the setbacks from modern lining practice are relatively tame. But, of course, we are all personally responsible for the effects of the linings that we undertake.

W. R. Sickert Tipperary detail

Responsibility is the key issue. In the past, the lining process was carried out by liners (or re-liners), who were often employed by restorers, who in turn were responsible to the museum curator or the painting owner. Was the continued insensitivity to lining damage caused by this arm’s length responsibility? Or was it simply that damage was thought to be acceptable as an inevitable side-effect of the need to save the canvas from falling apart? As I saw more old glue linings it became clear that nineteenth-century liners such as Morrill continued to cause the same kind of damage over and over again and that this damage was accepted by museums, which were prepared to send more paintings to be lined.8

Interestingly, our recent studies of some nineteenth-century artists’ techniques have also shown that artists such as William Holman Hunt, Ford Madox Brown, Sir John Everett Millais and James McNeill Whistler were getting their canvases lined very early or even during the painting process. They had no concerns about flattening and weave re-enforcement and we suspect that in some cases they were happy for their canvases to take on the characteristics of the lined old masters that they had seen in museums.

In the past our attitudes to physical and structural threats to a painting have owed more to the excesses and limitations of our own imaginations. We may imagine that our treatment will last indefinitely and cope with a range of unpredictable problems. In this case we are likely to go too far in our intervention. Alternatively, we may imagine that we must not contaminate our painting with unnecessary material and in that way fail to prevent deterioration. The key is to have an accurate model of the future use of the painting and the consequences of an intervention.

Understanding the problem

Since Greenwich we have made much progress in understanding how a canvas painting is constructed and how it responds to its environment and to our actions. Paul Ackroyd has produced an excellent review of the changes in lining practice.9 In particular, careful measurements of the moisture response of painting materials have been carried out by Mecklenburg, Hedley and Michalski

Conservators began to understand that not only the canvas and sizing but also the oil paint could respond to moisture very significantly, if slowly, and that the moisture content influenced the mechanical properties of the paint, making it more susceptible to the effects of heat and pressure. Moisture treatments were explored. We could soften some paints but not usually the lead whites. Glue paste linings and other linings involving heat and moisture exploit this moisture response whereas linings using wax and synthetic materials had been invented more recently to avoid it. But glue linings are more effective at actually flattening raised cracks, not simply holding them tightly in plane. Oil paint moisture response also explains why so much damage has been done by glue liners in the past. With enough heat and pressure we could mould the paint into all sorts of interesting shapes.

Mecklenburg revolutionised our view of the canvas as support by showing that the glue layer in a new painting carried much of the load (fig.3) The ground and paint layers also carried significant parts of the load, and the relationships between the layers changed with the changing humidity environment. As the painting aged and cracked the forces became disrupted in the painting plane and created the familiar raised cracks and cupped paint. We could now begin to appreciate why glue paste lining was effective at holding down raised cracks, whereas other methods were not. The persistence of the nineteenth-century glue liners at least seemed rational. Could we learn from their success in flattening cupping and still avoid the unwanted consequences inherent in their approach?

The diagram illustrates how all paintings on stretched canvas deteriorate

Thanks to Hedley, shrinkers are no longer a mystery. Conservators understand the behaviour and effect of a glue layer sitting as a separate layer on top of the canvas because it was applied cold by spatula in a thick gelatinous solution by a colourman such as Roberson. Above 75–80% RH a linen canvas tends to shrink and animal glue loses its strength. Tightly woven Ulster linens were not as solid and dependable as we had previously thought. We looked with new respect at the flimsy open weave Belgian canvases used by many French painters of the twentieth century.

More recently work by Young and colleagues has continued to develop our understanding, filling in more detail about internal and external forces, generating computer models of how a painting and canvas behaves, and beginning to measure the effects of specific conservation treatments Should we be lining onto stiffer fabrics that match the glue for load carrying? We are still using the same specification of polyester sailcloth that Hedley found at the Earl’s Court Boat Show in

The realisation that a lining canvas is only one of several important components that hold together a canvas painting has changed our frame of reference. Separating the consolidation process from the lining process was a crucial change in thinking If each process has to be justified separately and a lining canvas is not a unique structural component, the arguments in favour of carrying out a lining are rare. That has been our experience. It has been possible to investigate the effects of moisture treatments, adhesives and preventive treatments in isolation from lining. Indeed, we have been able to show that we could create nearly all the disadvantages of lining: weave emphasis, excessive flattening, the marouflage-look, squashed impasto and moating without attaching a second canvas.


Given that in the past we understood very little about the complexities of stretched canvas paintings and even now we do not understand everything, the practice adopted by most conservators has been to intervene as little as possible. But when a canvas is around a hundred years old and beginning to show the familiar signs of deterioration, we need to intervene.

Often the tacking edges are more damaged than the bulk of the canvas because of the effect of the rusted tacks and resinous wood. We rarely remove a canvas from its stretcher unless it is absolutely necessary. When we do, we risk damaging the tacking edges, which may not be strong enough to allow re-stretching. It is then that we resort to strip-lining, the application of a strip of canvas to reinforce the original edges (fig.4)

A year-old primed canvas which has never been painted displays all the basic deterioration characteristics of a finished painting on a stretched canvas

Strip-lining is often done with polyester canvas and BEVA adhesive (ethylene vinyl acetate copolymer). This has proved to be effective over many years. The polyester is thin, stable, and load-bearing and BEVA is flexible and provides good adhesion. It is heat sealed at 65 degrees centigrade. There is always the question of how far to extend the strip lining into the picture plane. It must be far enough to carry the load across the weak edges. Deformation in plane at the strip-lining edge is much less of a problem with thin polyester and flexible ethylene vinyl acetate.

Strip-lining has largely replaced lining since it begins to address many of the problems that would once have put the painting in the category to be lined.


Tears are often cited as the reason for lining and indeed major tears equivalent to half a painting dimension or more need extra support. But most small or medium tears can frequently be repaired in situ and need not involve lining. The canvas is not normally removed from its stretcher. The torn area is treated with moisture using a brush or swab to shrink the extended yarns back into plane so that they meet again. Depending on the tear this is usually possible to achieve but if serious distortion has occurred it may be necessary to trim some canvas yarns. The areas most resilient to treatment are distortions at each end of the tear where maximum stress concentration has occurred. Placing the canvas locally under pressure using weights, heated spatula and moist blotting paper can usually achieve a reasonable result. Then the canvas can be repaired either by using adhesive or by sewing. Some recent papers have described this process in detail and made useful observations on best practice The essential points are that the tear repair is restricted to the plane and level of the canvas and the immediate area of the tear, and that it provides a rigid structural joint, with the yarns aligned Next, the lost paint is filled and retouched. Often very little paint has been lost and the most extensive part of the retouching intervention is in disguising the more extensive cracking that has occurred around the tear.

Flaking paint

Lining a canvas was once thought to be a valid treatment to consolidate flaking paint. Most paint loss or flaking is caused by poor adhesion between the ground and canvas. Occasionally, due to bad artist’s technique, flaking can occur between paint films. As with other aspects of poor technique this is the most difficult type to deal with, but fortunately relatively rare.

However, the usual problem is the need to re-attach an original lean white-lead oil ground to a sized canvas. Because the dimensions and mass of each lifting and potentially flaking piece of paint/ground is small, Newton’s law tells us that the forces needed to re-attach them are very small. Indeed, I have seen small raised edges of paint that have escaped the conservator’s attention remain very stable for years despite having been exposed to constant handling and display. The demands on the adhesive are very small, and as we know even wax/resin is enough to hold an isolated area of paint. It is not surprising then that a multitude of adhesives has been suggested for consolidation and lining and not surprising that there is no consensus on the best one.

Perhaps the best adhesive is the most stable one. In conservation treatments we argue for reversibility but a truly reversible adhesive or consolidant is by definition not possible.

Our model of a canvas painting tells us that the canvas tension may well be carried principally in the size and ground, depending on the humidity, except at discontinuities (cracks) where the load is entirely carried by the canvas. This is a mechanism that leads to cupping and flaking of paint/ground and recent work at the Canadian Conservation Institute suggests that drying of the paint layers may also contribute to cupping. To counteract cupping, an adhesive with an elastic modulus at least as high as that of a lean ground would be needed. Such a structural adhesive would not be removable. We need to decide whether we wish simply to re-attach the canvas or be much more ambitious and reverse some of the effects of cracking. The latter approach still needs much more research and is I think the outstanding issue yet to be addressed – so we must be content with re-attachment.

If we accept this limited objective I think we should not worry too much about the nature of the adhesive we choose – after all it has to form a bond to dried oil, pigment, canvas and rabbit-skin glue, very different materials. This diversity of surface energy is part of the reason the original paint failed. The consolidating adhesive needs to have broad properties. That is why various commentators have justified vastly different adhesives from fish glue through synthetic emulsions to waxes.


Much of a museum collection of contemporary art should be in good condition but we can be confident that it will deteriorate in a similar way to existing works in the historic collection. In many cases artists are still using stretched canvas to paint on and oil priming has only very recently been replaced by acrylic. There are differences in degree but the structures remain similar. However we can predict that when certain difficult works eventually need to be treated future conservators will have serious or insurmountable problems. We should therefore take action now to prevent or retard deterioration.

Most museums put much emphasis on preventive measures, reducing risks in handling, transport, display and storage. This has been the mainstay of the approach at Tate. By introducing procedures for the physical protection of works of art and restricting direct access to works of art we can avoid much accidental damage. By improving gallery environmental conditions and air quality we can reduce physical and chemical changes.

Framing policy has proved extremely effective in the past 30 years The application of backboards, the strengthening of frames to ensure rigidity and the application of low reflecting glass whenever possible provides effective mechanical protection and ensures a microclimate around each work, which is far more stable than the best air-conditioning system. The extensive use of carrying/transit frames, wrapped in polythene, for handling, storage and lorry transport is also a mainstay. Such procedures are essential, particularly when our collection is used so heavily.

We also prioritise the examination and treatment of newly acquired works of art, putting them into a condition that pre-empts some of the deterioration effects that we predict. By surveying the collection we have identified those works already in the collection that need treatment. In the past many of these would have been prime candidates for lining but now we look for alternatives.

Double canvases (loose-lining)

In the nineteenth century several London colourmen sold double canvases, for example W. Brown of Holborn and later, Robersons and Winsor and Newton. Double canvases were regarded as a superior product and were bought by major artists. Many later paintings by J.M.W. Turner were painted on Brown’s double canvases and other established artists such as W.P. Frith, Sir Edwin Landseer, J.E.Millais and W.Holman Hunt also used double canvases.

These double canvases normally consist of a tightly woven heavy Ulster linen canvas, sized with rabbit-skin glue and primed with a lean oil ground. The ground is usually pigmented a dull white using a mixture of lead white and chalk applied by brush in at least two layers. It is applied evenly and smoothly, as would be expected from a commercial product. Large pieces of stretched canvas were pre-primed in this way for both single and double canvas systems.

When the ground has dried, the first canvas is stretched on a substantial expandable wooden stretcher with the ground facing the stretcher. Zinc coated iron tacks are normally used. This became the auxiliary canvas. The second canvas is stretched on the same stretcher, this time in the conventional way with the ground to the front, again using tacks. This became the primary canvas for painting on. The intention was to create a sandwich structure of ground, sized canvas, sized canvas, and ground. There is no adhesive between the two canvases, which are simply held together by the stretching process.

A variation on this method was the use of an un-primed canvas behind the main canvas rather than a primed one. This was cheaper and no doubt not considered as good.

Examination of the primed double canvases in the late twentieth century when they were about years old revealed that the auxiliary canvas grounds had cracked with an almost identical pattern to the primary painted canvas ground (fig.4). They had cracked extensively to form a complete network of largely random cracks, which had then opened and allowed the paint to cup. The moisture response of the tightly woven linen and the thickness of the ground were the chief contributions to this.

A conservator attaches a strip-lining to the edges of a canvas

When these supports were dismantled, removal of the primary canvas revealed the reverse which was free of dust and appeared to be relatively well preserved. Similarly, the auxiliary canvas was well preserved. So this was an effective system of preserving the canvas from the effects of pollution, both particulate and acid gas, which was principally sulphur dioxide in the period in question.

However this double canvas system (sometimes called an original loose-lining) did not prevent cracking and cupping of the ground and paint, nor did it prevent corner draws and loss of tension. Many of these paintings were relined in the s, usually in an attempt to flatten disturbing cupping and undulations. Indeed, the auxiliary canvases were very useful objects on which to practise the flattening of cupping.

The valuable experience of one hundred and fifty years of aging revealed by these canvases encouraged conservators at Tate to use modern loose-linings on more recently painted works, as a preventive measure, and also for older paintings that we did not wish to line. The barrier effect of the original double canvases against dirt and pollution was clear but their failure to prevent the effects of canvas relaxation was also evident. Rather than use linen canvas for modern loose-linings we chose to use polyester sailcloth. This material is a fine, even polyester yarn which has been tightly woven, followed by heat treatment to shrink the canvas and lock the weave in place. When used as a sail it is designed to be impervious to wind and therefore it can significantly reduce the transport of air to the canvas reverse, keeping out all particulate and most gaseous pollution. The material is not expected to relax or creep to the same extent as canvas and acts to keep the stretcher in plane. I have a polyester canvas that I stretched twenty five years ago which is still very tight. It ought to provide an excellent support.

When a painted canvas is stretched on top of a polyester loose-lining its weight is supported by the polyester and it need not be stretched so tightly. It will look and feel tight even though only a small force has been exerted. This is a very important effect, which prevents, or at least reduces, the long-term relaxation that would otherwise occur with a tightly stretched linen canvas, even though this may not manifest itself for fifty years.

One drawback with a polyester loose-lining is that the reverse of the canvas becomes invisible and the polyester may even be taken for the original. If further work needs to be done to a painting at a later date the loose-lining may need to be removed. An advantage is that the original stretcher can be retained and preserved by this system and the total weight is only increased a very small amount.

A rigid support

When the stretcher is inadequate, as with many large modern works, and has to be replaced, the museum conservator may devise an entirely new support system that offers rigidity and protection from the rear. In a museum the extra weight is not such a problem and can even be an advantage. But replacing the support with a more rigid structure is a major aesthetic intervention, changing the nature of the stretched canvas. Not everyone agrees with such a change, although I would argue that it is valid provided it is not discernable from the front when the painting is on display.

A rigid support can be constructed from an aluminium honeycomb panel of the type used in aircraft manufacture. These are typically 25 mm or 50 mm thick, very light and rigid. By gouging out a small piece of the honeycomb at the edges a shaped piece of softwood can be inserted all the way round. This provides an edge that can take tacks or staples. It is then possible to stretch a canvas over the panel and attach it as on a stretcher. Like a loose-lining the panel provides support and allows much less tension to be used. A piece of paper is usually attached to the front of the panel to isolate it from the back of the canvas and also to provide friction. Being completely impermeable to moisture, the panel ensures stable conditions exist between it and the canvas. Being rigid, it provides a stable tension and protection from impacts from the reverse. Physically, it is the ideal support and readily reversible.

There are limits to the dimensions of individual panels but they can be joined indefinitely to make larger panels. Very large panels are heavy and difficult to lift unless handles are built in. A panel cannot be keyed out, but I think this is a fairly minor limitation, since it is possible to stretch a canvas adequately without keying out. If the canvas has not been stretched enough it should be re-stretched. It can then be left alone. In future if there is relaxation of the canvas it can also be re-stretched but the relaxation will be kept to a minimum by the original low tension and the absence of repeated keying out. However, a panel does alter the appearance of the canvas painting from the reverse and changes its character fundamentally.

Blind stretchers

Blind stretchers with panels inserted between the members have a history longer than double canvases. Some of these objects are beautifully constructed and they combine the advantages of the stretcher and the panel. But they do not appear to prevent cracking and the repeated keying out that is possible contributes to cracking and corner draws.

Stretcher bar lining

Many paintings are wanted for exhibition and loan. They need to travel, to be handled and perhaps to be exposed to different environmental conditions. A technique devised at Tate is called stretcher bar lining (previously known as a cami-lining in some literature) This involves using polyester sailcloth to provide a support, but in this case attaching the polyester to the reverse of the stretcher using staples along the reverse of the outside members and feeding the polyester under the stretcher cross-members to create a tensioned structure in which the lining is in contact or near contact with the original only at one point in the middle of the canvas. Tensioning the stretcher in this way produces a very rigid structure and the conservator needs to be careful not to pull too hard and remove or distort the tension in the original canvas.

The main value of this technique may not be immediately apparent but when the canvas is vibrated it becomes clear. Most old cracked paintings have cracks corresponding to the stretcher inside edges, in part attributed to the flapping of the canvas against the stretcher. Loss of tension, through relaxation (or creep), may play a role in this cracking as does the hygroscopic effect of the stretcher. But when a painting travels it is subject to repeated forced vibrations at a level and frequency that is close to its resonance, which will fall in a range of 10–20 Hertz. By preventing any movement at the middle of the painting the natural frequency is raised to about four times its original frequency, usually clear of the main input from a vehicle. The stretcher bar lining is applied continuously across the back of the canvas and the trapped air creates an air dam that absorbs the energy of vibration. The effect needs to be seen to be believed but it is very impressive.

A polyester sailcloth stretcher-bar lining stiffens the structure and prevents the canvas from vibrating in transit

A great advantage of the stretcher bar lining is the speed with which it can be applied (fig.6). With practice it can be done in fifteen minutes and removed in five, depending on the number of staples. It is entirely reversible and preserves all aspects of the original stretching. We use it on many canvases to make them suitable for loan and transport and it normally remains in place for the next time the painting is moved.


Removing an old glue lining is not without its risks and is very time consuming. We do it very infrequently, not least because it begs the question, what should we replace it with? If we consider that the lining was not necessary then the prospect of returning the painting to an unlined state is enticing, but it may be difficult to assess just how good a state the original canvas is in.

For paintings that have suffered serious lining damage in the past we might like the idea of reversing the damage. We can take off an old lining but it is unlikely that we can repair flattened impasto or emphasised canvas weave. If the lining is stable we should accept that it has become part of the object’s history. If the lining tacking edges are beginning to fail, we can remove the canvas and glue for about 25mm width around the perimeter of the canvas and strip-line the lined painting.


Most of the treatments discussed so far are physical interventions, but we must not forget that the deterioration of cellulose is predominantly a chemical process Essentially, in the light cellulose is oxidised by air and in the dark it is hydrolysed by water vapour. The oxidation process creates acid groups that lower the pH of the canvas creating ideal conditions for hydrolysis. Air pollution also creates acid conditions. Our early attempts to reduce oxidation with anti-oxidants were not successful but the application of alkaline materials to increase pH was very successful, drastically reducing the rate of hydrolysis.

We have been tentatively de-acidifying canvases now for about twenty years and have not found any un-surmountable disadvantages to this procedure Several studies have sought to find problems and unwanted side effects, but as time goes by I am increasingly confident to recommend the process to others In careful hands, the application of a de-acidification agent of the Wei T’O type (magnesium methoxy methylcarbonate in a volatile solvent) appears to be effective and safe The process reduces the rate of deterioration of new canvas when excluded from light by an order of magnitude. This is a powerful argument for its application to all new canvases.

Older canvases are frequently degraded and have absorbed much sulphur dioxide and other air pollution. Certain fibres such as hemp and sisal deteriorate very rapidly and become very acid. Surface pH measurements between 3 and 4 are common. These canvases should be at least neutralised to stop further rapid decay. Leaving an alkaline reserve of magnesium ions can provide a period of respite before the process accelerates again.

We are also beginning to go back to the oxidation problem. We are currently testing enclosures for works of art on paper that will be air-tight and will allow us to exclude oxygen. If this is successful it could be extended to some painting canvases.


Now that paintings are rarely lined it is difficult for a conservator to obtain practical experience of different types of lining. This means that the current generation may have to make decisions based on published studies, which may not give enough information to establish a balanced account of the benefits and disadvantages. Practical studies are likely to include the perceptions and pre-occupations of the conservators reporting on their work. Detached scientific studies of lining processes may not be able to take into account the full nature and range of the paintings that are under consideration. It is important to look at all the literature and not to come to conclusions too quickly about one solution or another, and to retain a range of possibilities for action.

Conservators have only a few reliable solutions to the complex structural problems that occur on paintings on canvas. In the past we have responded too late and too heavy-handedly to structural deterioration, sometimes creating more problems than we have solved. In the last thirty years we have seen a revolution in our understanding and have adopted methods that are far more considered and less interventionist.

Improved understanding of paintings on canvas has given us new ways of assessing the effectiveness of any treatment, but it does not prevent the need for ethical decisions. To help decide in a particular case, we can define a number of hierarchies: the degree of intervention that is acceptable, the likely success of any treatment and the seriousness of any negative side effects. These are dependent on the use to which our painting is to be put and the environment to which it will be exposed.

In general, we should like to preserve the nature of the object, the artists’ techniques and the original technology, but we need to make sure that the painted image is presented well and that the painting can be displayed, loaned and stored safely. We do not want to have to return to carry out further consolidation, although with under-bound paintings this is frequently the case. Increased confidence in the outcome of treatments means that we are willing to intervene less. Confidence in the behaviour and impact of the environment is also critical: for instance, creating a micro-environment around a painting within a glazed frame is so successful that even wood panels do not flake.

In a conservation timescale the changes in our understanding have been rapid and dramatic. Ideas have changed much more rapidly than our individual conservation treatments last. We have gone from a position of skilful but unthinking practice to one of much better knowledge.

As a result of this new knowledge in some areas we need to reconsider our ethics, many of which have been superseded by events. More subtle solutions are now available and we can analyse the forces and reactions involved. But our solutions are only as good as the accuracy of our predictions. In particular, our ability to intervene chemically and the implication that this is best done while the canvas retains some strength challenges the simple notion of minimalism.


I am grateful for the support of the Leverhulme Trust which has funded research at Tate on the mechanical properties of canvas paintings (–) and to colleagues, conservators and researchers, at Tate and elsewhere, who have addressed these issues over the years, notably Mary Bustin for her role in the recent Alternatives to Lining conference.

Stephen Hackney is Head of Conservation Science at Tate.

Tate Papers Autumn © Tate

Download the print version.

How to cite

Stephen Hackney, ‘Paintings on Canvas: Lining and Alternatives’, in Tate Papers, no.2, Autumn ,, accessed 13 October

Tate Papers (ISSN ) is a peer-reviewed research journal that publishes articles on British and modern international art, and on museum practice today.

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Canvas Painting Ideas for Kids: With Easy DIY Canvas Frames!

I love kid&#;s art that I actually want to hang on our walls! Equally, I love kid&#;s art that can double as a cute DIY gift idea! I secretly don&#;t want my kiddos to learn to actually paint real pictures of things, because I love the freedom that they have when they paint. DIY abstract paintings for the win! These Canvas Painting Ideas for Kids are an awesome way to make one of their paintings into art, that hopefully someone would actually keep on their walls, as artwork!


To assist your children in creating beautiful paintings, all you have to do is make sure not to give them paint colours that when mixed together turn the colour of poo, and you are golden! Wink!


My kiddos love giving gifts that they actually made, and I love that they are the much cheaper option for giving gifts to family and friends! Plus homemade gifts are the best gifts from kids! At least I love them! Lol&#;


Canvas Painting Ideas for Kids: with Easy DIY Canvas Frames - easy handmade gifts

Whenever I&#;m at the dollar store I pick up a couple inexpensive canvass to have in my crafting arsenal. You can get them in so many different sizes, and by adding wood to the sides, you can easily create these easy DIY Canvas Frames, to make your painting projects look complete!





Canvas Painting Ideas for Kids: with Easy DIY Canvas Frames - diys for kids


Step 1: Paint your canvas! So&#; I have young kids&#; and they loooove painting, but they also love mixing all the paints together and then painting with that colour. So to prevent their paintings from looking like poo, I make sure to give them colours that are in the same colour shade family.

From our experience, these colours work well together:

  • pink, red, purple, white
  • blue, green, teal, white
  • yellow, orange, red, pink, white
  • green, yellow, blue, white

I do let the kids pick their colours, but naturally Ivy is all about the pinks and Corbin is all about the blues! We have very typical boy and girl colour preferences in this family&#; I don&#;t know how that happened&#; When Ivy sees someone wearing pink she automatically thinks they are her best friends! So cute. Lol.


Canvas Painting Ideas for Kids: with Easy DIY Canvas Frames - letter stamps

Step 2: After the paint is completely dry (and the kids are in bed, lol), use your letter stamps and black ink pad to add a cute personal saying to their paintings. I asked them before they went to bed, what they wanted their paintings to say, and Corbin said &#;Love you Daddy!&#; and Ivy said, &#;I want Daddy!&#; Both sayings are things that they both say to Daddy all day long! Love!

P.S. If you were wondering, we made these paintings for their Daddy for Father&#;s Day!


Canvas Painting Ideas for Kids: with Easy DIY Canvas Frames - canvas frames

Step 3: Cut the wood for your frame. Measure the length of the sides of your canvas and cut 2 pieces of wood this length. Then measure the length of the bottom of your canvas and add the width of the 2 side pieces of wood. Like this&#;


My Canvas is 8 inches by 10 inches:

  • 2 side pieces of wood were cut at 8 inches long
  • Bottom and top pieces are the length 10 inches, plus the width of 2 the wood sides (1/2 inch each) = Total 11 inches long


Step 4: Stain your wood. I used Jacobean by Minwax wood stain. All you do to stain your wood is put a small amount of stain on an old rag, and rub it into your wood. Make sure to wear gloves because the stain will also stain your hands! Wink! Jacobean finger nails for days!! Lol


Canvas Painting Ideas for Kids: with Easy DIY Canvas Frames - fathers day crafts

Step 5: Use wood glue to attach your stained wood pieces to the sides of your canvas. Then let it dry completely, before gifting it, or hanging it on the wall. You could also put a couple small nails (with a nail gun), in the sides to more tightly secure the wood to the canvas. However this small of a canvas didn&#;t need it. If you opt not to nail your frame to your canvas, just make sure when you are hanging your masterpiece on the wall, to hang it from the canvas not the frame!


Canvas Painting Ideas for Kids: with Easy DIY Canvas Frames - diy frame

Enjoy your DIY masterpiece!


Canvas Painting Ideas for Kids: with Easy DIY Canvas Frames - last minute gift ideas

I hope you found inspiration in this little Canvas Painting Ideas for Kids creative project. Even if you don&#;t have small kids to paint with you could use this project for yourself, as an awesome homemade gift idea! Just paint, add a saying, and frame!

I love how these Canvas Painting Ideas for Kids turned out, but now I want to frame all the canvas artwork in our house! Lol. If you are looking for more kids art ideas here is a link to another little kids art project that we turned into a DIY gift idea called Framable Kids Art! It&#;s a fun DIY art project too!

Until next time, enjoy creating artistic DIY gifts, and creating beautiful things everyday!


DIY Father's Day Gifts
Canvas Painting Ideas for Kids



View more Tips & Tricks

Art is not just about putting pencil or brush to paper and making something beautiful. It is about unleashing your sense of expression and entering a state of creativity where you can dig out the deepest parts of your imagination, expressing your ideas freely and apply them to whatever you desire to create something wonderful. It is also about the artistic process; brainstorming for your next project and preparing your materials. It is important that you are fully prepared before you start a project which means having all the correct apparatus.

Do not fear canvas. It is an incredible way to awaken your artistic spirit and discover endless possibilities of creativity. At Reeves, our canvases are % cotton, acid-free and double primed so all you have to do is create your desired palette, dip your brush or palette knife and start making magic right before your very own eyes.

Getting organised for a project can be one of the most exciting aspects of art as you can choose every little detail to make your vision become reality. One of the most important materials in your project preparation is your surface. Art comes in many forms and choosing what you want to create your piece on is a vital part of the outcome of your project and what you have envisioned.

A favourite for many Reeves customers, canvas is a classic support medium that has been used for hundreds of years dating back as far as the 14th century. Not only does canvas serve as a great surface for artists of all levels, its basic and blank composition allows your possibility of ideas to be limitless, giving you the freedom to take your apparitions anywhere you desire.

Understanding Canvas

At Reeves, we believe you must know the story behind canvas before you begin working on it in order to deepen your understanding of your chosen surface and expand your art knowledge. Canvas is stretched across a wooden frame and luckily ours come pre-stretched. Our canvases are made from % cotton but when they were first introduced hundreds of years ago they were made from linen. Linen is particularly good for oil painting and is commonly used by professional artists. Cotton canvas is nowadays more commonly used and deliver fantastic results.

Before use, canvas is coated with gesso; a primer for your paint. Gesso protects the fibres of your canvas as well as your brushes and creates a surface for the paint to adhere to. Reeves canvases come double primed and ready for you to begin crafting. This is extremely important for oil paints as they will not bind to the canvas without gesso. Acrylics will adhere but the colours will be brighter and more prominent if gesso is applied beforehand.

Best Paints for Canvas Art

Two of the most commonly used paints for canvas art are oil and acrylic paint. Acrylic comes in as an all-time favourite with its favourable qualities; it’s easy to work with and dries quickly. Oil paint is another winner with its thick, gluey consistency it is the perfect paint recipe paired beautifully with canvas. Watercolour is another commonly used paint for canvas board.

Tips and Tricks for Using Canvas

Entering the world of canvas art is a milestone on your artistic journey. It is one of the oldest used art surfaces and has been the base of some of the world’s most renowned pieces produced by some of the most famed artists of all time. Adopting the use of canvas is an achievement in your growth as an artist and is an extremely enjoyable way to express your thoughts and ideas as well as share your crafty passion with others. During your learning experience with canvas, you must adopt the best practices so that you can make beautiful pieces.

Now it is time to put brush to canvas! As canvas is typically white, at Reeves, we recommend that you begin by applying a background colour to create an all over tone for your painting. This is an effective way to set the mood of your piece as you can use darker or lighter shades depending on your painting’s subject. You are now ready to begin with the details! If you’re painting is intricate, why not try sketching it out first or if you are going for a more-free flowing vibe, dive straight in with your brush or palette knife and get started on your work of art.

A fantastic tip for eye catching results is to apply to darkest and lightest colour you are going to use first followed by the middle shades which you can then build on and blend.

Best Brushes for Canvas

Choosing your brushes is based more on the type of paint you are using rather than the canvas itself. Canvas is very adaptable to most brushes making it the ideal surface, therefore it all depends on your paint. For acrylic paint, brush choice is diverse as stiff bristle and synthetic brushes will work well. Your brush choice also depends on the look you wish to achieve with your piece. For oils, natural bristles such as hog hair work best for great results.

Palette knives also work to produce gorgeous effects on canvas and can even be used to make 3 dimensional features.

As a flourishing artist, it is important that you learn about the different brushes, their compositions and their uses. To achieve the effects and results that you desire, the right brush is key.

Painting on canvas is a classic method that will never be out dated. When painting with canvas you are adopting an art practice that can take you in any direction you desire and the blank page allows you to produce anything your imagination rustles up. With canvas, possibilities are infinite and your ideas and visions are boundless.

It is one of the most fun ways to make art as you can recreate something beautiful, paint portraits, or paint something unique. With your completed piece, you can display it, share it, gift it or keep it for just you as a stepping stone in your artistic journey.

Painting on canvas is one of the most treasured and most commonly practiced art forms that will continue to flourish in the art world. Painting on canvas is an enjoyable and inspirational experience that all passionate artists will fall in love with. So, pick up your brush or palette knife and experience the thrill of canvas art.

Find your nearest Reeves Art supplier using our nifty store locator.

Your inner creativity, a canvas and:


Canvas painting ideas double

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For many artists, the hardest part is not how to do canvas painting but get actual ideas on what to paint on canvas. So, how do you find these canvas painting ideas? 

Canvas easy painting for beginners usually starts with the least complicated subject and step-by-step instructions – the same way as many other crafts.

Why do we call painting on canvas a craft?

Because while beginners are learning how they can technically execute their painting ideas on canvas by using different tools and techniques they actually are learning the craft side of this trade.

Why not call yourself an artist right away? Well, many people do so but imagine doing the same thing in the music field. If you are just starting to play the piano and learning notes would you call yourself a performing musician?

What is the best way for beginners to learn about painting on canvas?

Besides art supplies and tools, you will need to learn a variety of painting techniques and go through guided tutorials. Without copying the best artworks with a deep understanding of how exactly it was accomplished it will be very hard to start creating your own masterpieces.

1. Painting colorful trees on canvas is always a good choice for beginners

One of the first oil or acrylic easy DIY canvas painting ideas for beginners on canvas would be painting Colorful Landscape or trees using acrylic paints. Painting images of nature don’t require great drawing skills and can be one of the fast and fun things you can do with a blank canvas. How can you try to achieve the same effect? Pick a canvas, a set of basic acrylic paints, a wide brush (or palette knife), and voila – you’ll create your own beautiful landscape painting.

Painting colorful trees on canvas is always a good choice for wall art and is one of the most easiest canvas painting ideas for beginners.

2. Abstract Acrylic Pour Painting on Canvas is easy to master

Abstract paintings also allow beginners to create wall art without much artistic experience. If you simply can’t come up with any ideas on what to paint on canvas then Fluid Art such as Acrylic Pour painting would be a good choice for you!

For abstract easy canvas painting ideas, like the one below, look at this blog post describing multiple ways to enter the exciting world of Acrylic pouring. Still, there is much to learn about how acrylic paints behave on canvas.

Abstract Acrylic Pour Painting on Canvas is easy to master. Check out this easy canvas painting idea for beginners.


3. Try Abstract Painting on canvas with traditional brushes

For beginners, easy painting ideas on canvas often include a wide brush and just a few colors to get their artistic feet wet without extra headaches related to mixing a lot of different hues. If you’re looking for some pictures to paint easy, abstract ones are the most popular among the beginners.

Try Abstract Painting on canvas with traditional brushes - easy canvas painting ideas for beginners and advanced artists.

4. Take a more graphical approach to painting landscapes

What a great idea for a modern-vibe landscape! You can duplicate the trend by creating distinct patterns and coloring them flat. Painting on canvas too many details can be too challenging for beginners, so it would a good idea to simplify the whole composition. Just squint your eyes and all these extra details will disappear!  Now you can paint!

Looking for easy painting ideas? When painting images of nature take a more graphical approach to painting landscapes.

5. Try Acrylic Pouring using white, yellow ochre, and black to give a modern look to your Abstract Painting

As it happens too often, the most common beginners’ painting ideas resort to dumping all available colors on canvas. Try to limit yourself to a few colors especially in the beginning. Get pouring art supplies kit here.

Looking for easy canvas painting ideas for beginners? Try Acrylic Pouring using white, yellow ochre, and black to give a modern look to your Abstract Painting.

6. Take coloring pages approach to painting – the idea here is to transfer a drawing onto canvas and then color it with acrylic paints

It looks challenging but learning to read and write was challenging as well, right? In reality, this idea to paint over a drawing is not much harder than to color pages with markers. Controlling the brush is only tricky in the beginning.

This example shows The Edge of Paradise painting which won first place in the Art for Trees National Art Contest. It depicts the wildlife of Costa Rica which is currently under the threat of deforestation. A rare and majestic jaguar, along with her cubs, a Howler Monkey, and a hummingbird, watch as man encroaches upon their land.

Looking for easy canvas painting ideas for beginners? Take coloring pages approach to painting - draw and then color your canvas. Easy enough and fun! #wallart #paintingideas

7. Use watercolor techniques on canvas even if you are painting with acrylic paints

Don’t be discouraged by the intricate drawing of the flowers – you don’t have to make it by hand. Tracing it is perfectly fine for a beginner. The idea here is to dilute acrylic paint with water and color the canvas with a fine brush as if you were working on your coloring pages. 

Looking for easy canvas painting ideas for beginners? Use watercolor techniques on canvas even if you are painting with acrylic paints.

Well, these particular painting ideas on canvas are not for pure beginners, they can be simplified and executed with pretty good results.

8. Experiment with mixed painting techniques and styles – sketch and then partially paint canvas creating a lively work-in-progress effect

Northwest Artist, Jennifer Lommers created this beautiful piece depicting a goldfinch perched high above under the canopy of a ponderosa pine tree. This art piece is part of a series of India Ink & Acrylic paintings created from the nature drawings.

Looking for some cool things to do with a blank canvas? Experiment with mixed painting techniques and styles

9. Painting aspen tree trunks with autumn foliage are one of the most popular and easy canvas painting ideas for beginners

Painting aspen tree trunks with autumn foliage can be one of the easiest canvas art ideas for beginners

Painting Tuscan pines with picturesque rolling hills is always a winning choice for both beginners and experienced artists

This Tuscan landscape definitely presents a challenge to beginners. Don’t give up on it without trying – it is easier than you’d think. Without overcoming challenges in our lives we’d all probably still be living in caves using sign language. If you really like some canvas painting idea then go for it – at least you’ll know what you’ll need to work on to improve the result!

Canvas Painting idea - Tuscan pines with picturesque rolling hills is always a good choice for both beginners and  experienced artists

Sunflowers glowing with joyful summer light frequently are among the most popular easy painting ideas on canvas

Looking for cool things to do with a blank canvas? Sunflowers glowing with joyful summer light frequently are among the most popular easy painting ideas

Right away, you’d want to ask: “Why not Van Gogh?” Well, indeed Vincent Van Gogh is very famous for his paintings of sunflowers but here is a slight problem that may confuse some of the beginners. By looking at some of his paintings one may notice a rather complex brush strokes patterns with pretty intricate silhouettes of sunflowers grouped together. Colors are also not as bright and distinct as on the sample above.

Following a brighter color scheme with the larger subject size is much easier for a beginner. Of course, you don’t have to repeat each an every detail here. Just combine all major color groups into larger blocks.

Take a designer-style approach to an acrylic canvas with one dominant color and a single object.

This sample is a great way to decorate an entryway with a fast and easy big wall art decor project. For your kitchen, it can be graphic pictures of a popular triad of fork-spoon-knife or a simple coffee cup. No matter what the subject is, just make the background looking like an old painted wall to give the finished painting a vintage flavor.

Looking for easy canvas painting ideas for beginners?Take a designer-style approach to an acrylic canvas with one dominant color and a single object.

If you’ll decide to create something similar, note that the textured background plays a very important role in this painting. use sponge or painting knife with earth red and ochre yellow color hues. Once your beautiful texture is dry you may finish your canvas with painting any subject if your interest including kitchen utensils, favorite flower, or whatever is appropriate for the wall your painting will be hanged on. 

Make your canvas more interesting by attempting to paint in a surrealistic style combining common objects in unusual ways.

On this painting, you see a fantasy landscape with a combination of Fargesia Victualia, which is a family of bamboos found in alpine conifer forests of East Asia, in combination with slices of citrus fruit.

Looking for cool things to do with a blank canvas? Make your canvas more interesting by attempting to paint in a surrealistic style.

Follow the steps of great artists like Eyvind Earle.

His painting style will work perfectly for those who are still obsessed with coloring pages. Do the same thing but color with paints instead of markers or pencils. The result will be rewarding – creating an incredible wall art piece!
Looking for cool things to do with a blank canvas? Follow the steps of the great artists like Eyvind Earle.

Autumn trees with bright colors are just perfect for a quick and easy canvas painting when you don’t have a lot of time

We like this canvas painting idea for its simple shapes and bright festive colors. Give it a try!

Autumn trees with bright colors are just perfect for quick and easy painting when you don't have a lot of time

Painting more realistic trees with one color accent will require a bit more skills but will make your canvas look more sophisticated

The trees here look more complicated than they are. Start from the background light gray tree trunks and work your way to the front dark ones. Then do the same with the foliage. The red tree is worked on the last. Use “fan” type brushes for the foliage. This canvas painting is actually a really fun idea and you’ll be amazed at your results.

Looking for easy canvas painting ideas for beginners? Painting more realistic trees with one color accent will require a bit more skills but will make your canvas more sophisticated

Multi-panel wall art becomes more and more popular and the birds are a very popular subject. It’s a winning combination for beginner artists.

Looking for cool things to do with a blank canvas? Multi-panel wall art becomes more and more popular, and the birds are easy to paint. It's a winning combination for beginners artists

Paint with a palette knife creating a mosaic of colors and textures

Looking for cool things to do with a blank canvas? Paint with a palette knife creating a mosaic of colors and textures

Design symmetrical 2-piece canvas painting using simple objects like trees

Looking for cool things to do with a blank canvas? Design symmetrical 2-piece wall art using simple objects like trees

Give yourself a bit of challenge by painting a figurative art piece

Choose an angle to avoid painting a face and it will be easy enough even for a beginner.
Looking for easy canvas painting ideas for beginners? Give yourself a bit of challenge by painting a figurative art piece - choose an angle to avoid painting a face and it will be easy enough even for a beginner

A path in a forest with glowing foliage is simply enchanting!

Looking for cool things to do with a blank canvas? A path in a forest with a glowing foliage is simply enchanting!

Large-scale abstract canvasses are always very impressive

It can be done easily after practicing acrylic pouring techniques on smaller canvas size. Pour painting is actually a lot of fun and can be very addictive. This is truly the easiest canvas painting technique that most of the beginners can master in a short period of time.
Are you for ideas for pictures to paint in acrylics? Large-scale abstract paintings are always very impressive and can be done easily after practicing acrylic pouring techniques on a smaller canvas sizes

For kids’ room try multi-panel wall art with easy-to-draw animals like whales or dolphins

If you don’t want to challenge yourself then painting something similar to the cute whale or giraffe would be a good and easy canvas painting exercise.

For kids' room try multi-panel wall art with easy-to-draw animals like whales or dolphins. These painting ideas are super-easy!


Birch bark has a lovely pattern which is not hard to paint

Apply gold leaf or copper leaf accent and you have a nice art piece for yourself or a hand-made gift for your loved ones!

Easy canvas art ideas for beginners - Birch tree painting - Birch bark has a lovely pattern which is not hard to paint


Advanced but easy to paint portraits

Looking for cool things to do with a blank canvas? Advanced but easy to paint portraits like these will give you some challenge.


Do you think that these ideas are too hard for you? Don’t worry – you need a challenge! Just get this best-selling “How to paint” book and this amazing acrylic paint set to see how easy and exciting painting can be…

To try your painting ideas get this perfect acrylic paintset from Arteza!

Acrylic Premium Artist Paint Set for easy painting ideas on canvas

Lonely Girl - Double Exposure Sunset Painting/ Easy Sunset Acrylic painting tutorial for Beginners/

DIY Abstract Art Canvas | Easy beginner abstract art tutorial


DIY Abstract Art tutorial. Learn how to paint an abstract painting with acrylic paints and a step by step tutorial. Easy Beginner Level Abstract painting Guide.


Hi, it&#;s Ashley from Star and Arrow Designs! I&#;m so excited to share this DIY abstract art tutorial with you guys, an abstract piece to add a vibrant and textured pop to your home. I wanted to do a piece that ANYONE could do. I am a perfectionist and for that reason, have a hard time letting go to create abstract artwork.

This diy abstract art tutorial shows you how to create abstract wall art with some depth. It’s perfect if you need to add some color to match your color scheme of the room. Love this abstract artwork tutorial! #abstractart #abstractartwork #abstractwalldecor #abstractpainting #abstracttutorial

I was painting with my toddler last week, and in 30 seconds he created a beautiful impasto painting. News flash. Looked like I needed to learn a lesson or two from him: let the fun messy part of art take over.

Love this abstract wall art tutorial! Such a pretty abstract art project, wow! Love the look of this abstract artwork and the step-by-step to create this easy abstract art! #abstractart #abstractartwork #abstractwalldecor #abstractpainting #abstracttutorial

For more art ideas:

Supplies to Paint a DIY Abstract Art Canvas Tutorial:

So, here we are, a messy, random and colorful painting tutorial. This was one of my first dips into abstract art AND acrylic paints, so it is by no means perfect, but the process is a fun one! Here it is:

diy abstract art

These supplies contain affiliate links for your convenience. When you make a purchase after clicking an affiliate link, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission. I only recommend products that I personally use and genuinely recommend. Thank you for your support!

How to paint an Abstract Art Canvas

I set up shop by covering my table with butcher paper. This project WILL get messy so I recommend covering everything you don&#;t want paint splattered.  

IMG_ copy

This first step is optional, but I think it adds a great base to your piece &#; Paint acrylic gesso over the surface with a thick painter&#;s brush. This covers the woven canvas texture. Generously add globs of modeling paste onto the canvas. Use a cut strip of chipboard to level out the paste. Be sure to cover the surface of the canvas, but this is meant to build up the texture. Be sure to let this dry before moving to the next step.


Once you decide where you would like your gold leaf, use a small paintbrush to apply a thin layer of Elmer&#;s glue or Metal leaf adhesive onto the canvas. Wash your brush immediately with warm soapy water. 


Apply the gold leaf flakes (I used my fingers) in a thick layer to the glue. There isn&#;t much rhyme or reason to this part. You will be adding a second layer after painting, so don&#;t fuss too much about it being perfect. If you are using a sealer, wait for the glue/adhesive to dry before using your brush again to paint it over the flakes. The sealer will flatten and coat the gold leaf. You can watch a time-lapse video of the process here.


Next, create a color sample. You may have figured out what colors you want to use, but doing a &#;practice run&#; will help you figure out how you want to put them all together. I like to do this on a piece of sketchbook or scrap paper.  


Then, start painting! I squeezed globs of paint directly to the canvas and used pieces of chipboard (cardboard) to lightly stroke down the paint. You can also apply the paint to the chipboard and apply it that way. This keeps the paint thick and easy to blend. It also keeps that yummy thick texture without showing the white canvas or brush strokes. 

I had a few different chipboard pieces for my different colors but found that I liked keeping the chipboard pieces a little messy because it blends in different colors. Don&#;t worry about balancing all the colors. In fact, I think the abstract wall art looks best when it isn&#;t balanced perfectly. 


  • Layer, layer, layer. This paint is all about layers and layers add dimension.
  • Blend when it is wet, layer when it is dry.
  • Step back or even take a picture of your progress and look at it. I find this helps me see funky spots that need more color or touching up. 
  • Get a second perspective. 
  • React to the gold foil- I used thin pieces of chipboard and really tried to respond to the gold flakes, and used the shape of the gold foil to shape my painting. Beauty in randomness!

Once your paint has dried, you may want to add some more gold leaf. Same steps as above, apply the glue/adhesive and then the flakes. I scattered a couple flakes over the paint to add some more dimension.  

DIY Abstract Art | Learn to make this easy art! Such a great abstract art tutorial!

Voila! I think there are a couple spots I may layer some more, but overall, I am happy with how this project turned out. Like I said, I am a total newbie when it comes to abstract art, but I loved this project! It&#;s cheap and easy. Once you get started, it&#;s fun to get crazy with it. XO, Ashley

DIY Abstract Art Tutorial. Learn How To Paint An Abstract Painting With Acrylic Paints And A Step By Step Tutorial. Easy Beginner Level Abstrac

Looking for ways to display your new art? We love Minted&#;s perfect frames, oooh la lah!

DIY Abstract Art | Love this gallery wall to display your art. Such stylish frames!

Keep up with Ash on Insta, Facebook and her cute Etsy shop full of adorable prints like this tribal nursery art,

Be Brave Little One - Tribal Nursery Art - Indian Headdress Print

and this adorable potted cactus card!

Potted Cactus Card - Modern Geometric Greeting Card - Southwestern Art Card

Also visit more of our home decor ideas like our potted succulent mason jar holder,

DIY Stenciled Succulent Potted Mason Jar Key Holder |via 

and this awesome industrial message board!



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Date Night?

Your Picture-Perfect Date Night Awaits

Date night is a great night when you mix things up a little bit! At our couples' painting events, you can have everything you love about regular dates — like your favorite beverages and finger foods, plus all the fun that comes with trying something new. Stop by your nearest studio to relax, laugh, and sip your favorite BYOB* beverage. Don't forget a snack to fuel your creativity! You'll take home a great painting and even better memories.

Scroll down to book a couples' paint night.

* Check with your local studio regarding their alcohol policy

What Is a Paint Date Night Like?

Date night shouldn't be stuffy or routine. It should be fun! At Painting with a Twist, we're here to help you make lasting memories and enjoy quality time with your loved ones, be it your bae or your boo. Come to our studio where we'll provide the painting supplies, canvas, and step-by-step instructions to create a fun masterpiece alongside your partner. Whether you're on your second date or celebrating your 20th anniversary, a paint date night can be a new, exciting way to put aside the stresses of life and connect with your sweetheart.

The best date nights aren't complete without something to sip on, though, so toast with your favorite BYOB* beverage while you enjoy a couples' painting experience. To make your paint date night even more unique, you can also bring your favorite snacks! Love cheese and chocolate? Bring 'em. Trail mix and dried fruit? Sure! Combine one-on-one time with your sweetie with finger foods, drinks, and painting, and you've got a winning date night idea.

Why Do Date Night at Painting with a Twist?

Picture this: a couple driving to the same restaurant they went to last weekend, ordering dinner, then heading to the movies for yet another evening of popcorn and soda. This couple walks away with greasy fingers and maybe a few one-liners from the flick.

Now, picture this: a couple painting a beautiful scene on canvas, sipping on their favorite wine, and laughing together for hours on end. This couple walks away with stomachs that ache from laughter and artwork they can keep for years.

Which duo would you rather be? It's time to put a new twist on your next date night with a couples' paint night! Couples' painting parties at Painting with a Twist make it easy to enjoy a unique date night with your better half.

You probably won't remember that Friday night trip to the movie theater in five years, but you'll definitely remember the night you spent painting together and chatting over glasses of wine. Plus, you'll have a one-of-a-kind piece of art to show for it.

What Will You Paint at a Couples' Paint Night?

At most of our couples painting events, you and your other half will create a complementary set of paintings. Together, both your canvases become a beautiful masterpiece! What kind of masterpiece? Our events calendar has a variety of paintings for couples to create together — from seasonally-inspired landscapes to decorative DIY wood board signs, funny self-portraits, and more! Find a paint night theme that makes your heart skip a beat, then sign up for your most creative and memorable date night yet!

Get started

*Call your local studio to learn about their alcohol policy.


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