How do you start painting on canvas for beginners?

Painting can be a wonderful and rewarding experience, but it can also be intimidating, especially for those who are just getting started. But don’t worry! With a few simple tips, you can learn how to apply paint to your canvas and start creating beautiful works of art. In this blog post, we’ll cover the basics of painting, from choosing the right paint and color palette to applying the paint to the canvas and letting it dry. With a bit of practice and patience, you’ll soon be creating stunning works of art. Read on for some helpful tips on painting!


1. Gathering the Proper Supplies

If you’re a beginner to painting on canvas, the first step is to make sure you have all the right supplies. You’ll need a canvas, paints, brushes, and other materials to get started. Here’s a comprehensive list of what you’ll need to get started on your canvas painting journey.

Canvas: Canvas is the ideal surface to paint on and comes in a variety of sizes and shapes. You can also choose between pre-primed or unprimed canvas, depending on your preference. Pre-primed canvases are ready to use and require less prep time, while unprimed canvases require more preparation but offer more control over the painting surface.

Paints: You’ll need to choose between acrylic, oil, and watercolor paints. Acrylic paints are the most popular choice for canvas painting as they are fast-drying, easy to use, and durable. Oil paints offer a wide range of colors and textures, but take longer to dry and require more skill to use. Watercolor paints are best used for more delicate works, as they can be difficult to manage on a canvas.

Brushes: You’ll need a variety of brushes to execute different techniques and styles. You’ll want to choose brushes with different shapes and sizes, and natural or synthetic bristles. Generally, natural bristle brushes are better for oil painting, while synthetic brushes are better for acrylic or watercolor painting.

Palette: The palette is used to mix your paints and create the desired colors. You can use a premade palette or a DIY palette, depending on your needs and budget.

Other materials: You may also want to have other items on hand such as a rag, a spray bottle, and a palette knife. The rag can be used to wipe off excess paint or to create texture. The spray bottle can be used to moisten the canvas or to spray paint for a more even application. The palette knife can be used to mix paints and create interesting textures.

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Now that you have all the materials you need, you’re ready to start painting on canvas. Have fun and get creative!

2. Understanding Color Theory

When it comes to painting on canvas, understanding color theory is key. Color theory is the study of how colors interact with each other and how they can be used to create stunning works of art. It is important for any artist to have a basic understanding of how colors work together, and how they can be used to convey emotion and meaning in a painting.

The spectrum of colors can be divided into three primary colors: red, blue, and yellow. These primary colors cannot be made from any other colors, and are the basis for all other colors. From these primary colors, secondary colors are made when two primaries are mixed together. The secondary colors are orange, green, and violet. From the secondary colors, tertiary colors can be made when a primary color is mixed with a secondary color.

Color theory also examines the properties of colors, such as hue, saturation, and value. Hue is the name of the color, such as red, blue, or yellow. Saturation is the intensity of the color, or how vivid it is. Value is the lightness or darkness of a color. All of these properties can be used to create a variety of different effects in a painting.

The color wheel is a helpful tool for understanding color theory and how colors interact. It shows the relationships between the primary and secondary colors, as well as how they can be used to create tertiary colors. The color wheel is also useful for understanding color schemes, which are combinations of colors that can be used to create harmonious and aesthetically pleasing works of art.

Understanding color theory is essential for any artist wanting to create a beautiful painting on canvas. It can help to create a desired effect, and also ensure that the painting will have a cohesive and pleasing look. By studying color theory, a beginner painter can gain an understanding of the different properties of color, and how to use them to create stunning and meaningful works of art.

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3. Choosing a Painting Style

If you’re a beginner painter, choosing the right painting style can be daunting. It can be difficult to know where to start, what type of materials to use, and how to go about creating your artwork. However, with the right guidance and a little bit of experimentation, you can find a painting style that suits your individual tastes and abilities.

When it comes to painting, there are many different styles to choose from. Depending on the type of art you are looking to create, the best style for you may be abstract, realism, impressionism, or any combination of the three.


Abstract art is characterized by its lack of form and its use of shapes, lines and colors to create unique images. Abstract art is often created with the intention of providing a visual experience that conveys emotions and ideas. This style is great for beginners because it allows you to explore the possibilities of color and texture without having to worry about realistic details.


Realism is a painting style that focuses on creating realistic representations of the world around us. This type of painting is often done with a high level of attention to detail, such as shading and color. If you’re looking to create a painting that looks like a photograph, then realism is the style for you.


Impressionism is a painting style that focuses on capturing a fleeting moment of time. This style is characterized by its use of bold brushstrokes, vibrant colors, and subtle details. Impressionism is great for beginners because it allows you to explore color and texture without having to worry about getting the details perfect.

No matter which style you choose, it’s important to remember that practice makes perfect. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try out different painting styles. With a little bit of patience and persistence, you’ll be creating beautiful works of art in no time!

4. Applying Paint to the Canvas

Now that you have prepped your canvas, it’s time to apply the paint! This can be daunting, especially if you are a beginner, but with a few simple tips you can get the hang of it in no time.

The first thing to do is to decide on the type of paint you want to use. Acrylics are a great choice for beginners because they are easy to work with, quick drying, and come in a range of colors. If you’re looking for a more traditional approach, you can also use oil paints.

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Next, you’ll need to pick a color palette. This is entirely up to you, but it’s helpful to start with a few basic colors and then branch out from there. You can also mix colors to create your own unique shades.

Once you have your colors selected, it’s time to start painting! Begin by sketching out the basic shapes of your painting. This will help you visualize the overall composition and will also help you stay on track. You can use a pencil or a thin brush with a bit of paint on it to make these shapes.

When you’re ready to start applying paint, use a brush that is appropriate for the type of paint you are using. Acrylics typically require a synthetic brush, while oils require a natural bristle brush. When painting, use even strokes and try to keep the brush loaded with paint. This will help ensure that your strokes are consistent and your painting looks more polished.

Finally, when you’re finished painting, you’ll need to let it dry. Depending on the type of paint you used, this could take anywhere from several hours to a few days. If you’re using acrylics, you can speed up the drying process by using a hairdryer set on low.

With these tips, you should be well on your way to creating your first painting! Don’t be afraid to experiment and explore different techniques as you go. Over time, you’ll find what works best for you and your canvas. Happy painting!

In Summary

Painting can be intimidating for beginners, but with the right supplies and a few tips, anyone can learn how to get started. From choosing the right type of paint and color palette to applying paint with even strokes and letting it dry, this guide will help you create your first masterpiece. Whether you choose acrylics or oils, you’ll be able to express yourself and create a beautiful painting that you can be proud of. So grab your supplies and get started on your canvas today!