Canvas Painting Ideas

Fill your walls with artwork painted by you! You don't need to be a fine artist to give these techniques a whirl. Grab a canvas and some paint, and start having some painting fun.

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Washed Effect

Cover a canvas with cream-color paint. While the base coat is still wet, work in a layer of paint in a different color (we used blue). After each brushstroke, wipe the painted area with a paper towel to keep the colors from overblending.

Geometric Painting

Create a modern masterpiece with painters tape and sample pots of paint on canvas. Apply tape to create an assortment of triangles and geometric shapes on a large 3-inch-thick canvas, wrapping the tape around the sides. Paint one section, including the sides, at a time (for this project, we like the rounded paintbrush by Annie Sloan), removing and applying new tape as the paint dries. Use a variety of metallic paints and sample color pots, applying a second coat as needed. (We used Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint in Greek Blue, Aubusson Blue, and Paris Grey, and Modern Masters metallic paint in Pharaoh's Gold, Flash Gold, Rose, and Black.)

Pixilated Wall Art

Use a pencil and ruler to lightly mark a 1/2-inch grid on stretched artist canvas. Set aside. Download the pattern from our sister site, Make It Yourself, and print out. Working with one paint color at a time and referring to color key on the pattern, mix paint colors to match colors on key. Paint each color on a separate sheet of heavyweight art paper. Let dry. Note: Add small amount of white or black to red, green, and blue to make different shades. Using a paper trimmer, cut each paper into 1/2-inch squares. Following the pattern, adhere colored squares to each square on the canvas using a glue stick. Spray with clear acrylic sealer. Project designed by: Monica Mangin, EastCoastCreativeBlog.com

Watercolor Message

Preserve a message on canvas with rubber cement. Dip a 1/2-inch round paintbrush in rubber cement and write on a large white canvas (we used a beloved ancestor's journal entry for the text). Apply thickly so the words will be legible. Let dry. Mix three intensities of watercolor paint in separate cups, using black to darken and water to lighten (we used Winsor & Newton's Cobalt Blue and Black). Apply with a large brush and horizontal sweeping strokes—start out dark at the top and gradually fade near the bottom, blending as you move down. Keep the canvas flat until dry to avoid drips. No need to peel off rubber cement.

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