Easy Canvas Painting Ideas

Written by melanie j. martin
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Easy Canvas Painting Ideas
The best way to get better at painting is to enjoy doing it. (painting green image by Horticulture from Fotolia.com)

Painting lifelike pictures takes lots of practice, but new painters can do many creative and easy activities with paint and canvas. These activities will help them grow more comfortable with paints. In the process, they can try different kinds of paints, from acrylics and pastels to oils, to develop a sense of which type they most enjoy working with.

Finger Painting

This activity isn't just for kids---anyone can use their fingers to paint, even professional artists. This is a great introduction to painting, emphasising creative freedom rather than accuracy. Have fun with this activity and experiment with mixing and blending different colours.

Geometric Shapes

Create a colour block pattern of different shapes and colours by using complementary tones. Experiment with creating balance in the shapes and colours on the canvas. Sketch out ideas on paper first, then on the canvas, and then begin painting, starting with the background. Create overlapping shapes for a more complex look that will still be easy to design.

Very Mixed Media

Find leaves, flower petals, spices and other small objects that you can press onto a painting. Paint the background with a thick layer of paint, using two coats if necessary. Then, press on the objects, creating a natural scene or just an abstract collage. Add additional paint if desired.

Old World Painting

Create an old-world style painting by stencilling on a design and then ageing the surface, according to HGTV.com. Begin by painting on several coats of latex paint, and then paint on a border and the stencilled design. To finish, rub with sand paper to create an aged effect, paint on a stain, sealer and pat dry.


Using several stamps, create a simple scene. First, paint the background, blending several colours together with long strokes across the canvas. Then stamp on your subjects, such as big fish and small seashells for an ocean scene. Next add simple details. For instance, paint seaweed using squiggly green lines reaching up from the bottom.

Textured Painting

Create an easy textured look with instructions from KinderArt.com. First, squirt glue around the canvas in an abstract pattern, or use a Popsicle stick to apply it. Then sprinkle on cornmeal and powder paint for colour and texture. Mix and blend two or more contrasting colours. Finally, spray with hairspray to hold everything in place and let it dry.

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