Canvas Painting Ideas

If canvas painting seems like an activity that you would like to try your hand at, then it is important that you keep the following tips in mind. These will help you start the art of painting, without making the blunders that most people tend to make when they start painting. For your convenience, we have divided the tips into three sections―the tips that you will need to use before you start working on your art work, those that you can use while painting, and the things you need to keep in mind after you are done with the painting.

Before Starting the Painting
The tips that have been given here are some things that you should definitely keep in mind before you start on your canvas painting. These tips are in no particular order or sequence.

  • One of the first things that you will need to decide on is the kind of canvas you should choose to paint on. There are a variety of canvases available in the market like canvas boards, rolled canvas, canvas mats and even stretch canvas. Depending on the kind of painting you want to make and also what your comfort level is, you can choose one of these canvas types. The canvas can be made of either cotton or linen. If you want a canvas that is strong and has a long shelf life, opt for a linen canvas. Also, the size of the canvas is an important thing to bear in mind. Remember, the smaller your canvas, the less chances there are that you will miss out on details. Also, a smaller canvas is perfect for a beginner to start with. Also use an easel for your paintings.
  • Next, decide on the medium that you want to use. Many people believe that water paints are the best for a beginner to start with, but it is not. Sure it is easy to use, as it spreads easily, but lack of experience can cause smudging of colors and spreading, which is unnecessary. One of the best paints to start out with for beginners are acrylic paints. These paints dry easily and therefore, if you need to make corrections, it is extremely easy to do so on acrylic paintings, but sometimes blending colors can be difficult because of the same reason. Try to blend colors when the colors have dried off a little, but not completely. Some people prefer to use oil paints. These are not as easy to use as say acrylic paints and the techniques are such that beginners may take time to master them. But they are perfect for paintings that need a lot of blending of colors, as they take a lot of time, sometimes even days, to dry.
  • Brushes come next in the list of things that need to be bought for canvas painting. Get a variety of sizes of brushes. You will need thin bristled brushes for details and bigger brushes for background areas and the likes. Pay attention to the quality of the brushes. You do not want the brushes to be shedding hair on your painting. Use a brush tote. If you do not want to buy one, you can fashion one out of a coffee container or use a coffee mug as a brush container.

During the Course of the Painting
Once you have worked out the various things that you need to make the painting, you need to decide on the subject that you want to paint and what technique you are going to use in order to recreate the subject. Remember, creating an almost photographic representation of a subject is best left to masters or maybe master forgers. As a beginner, try to get your proportions right, get your brush stroke techniques right and work on your color combination and blending. Here are some tips that you can try as a novice to the art form.

  • One of the first things to remember as a painter is to avoid the use of pencil on your canvas. It is difficult to erase out pencil marks later without affecting the quality of the paint, and somehow, they always tends to show through.
  • One of the best canvas painting techniques to use when starting out is to paint in those areas first that will have prominent darker colors. You do not need to detail these areas, but you can loosely block these areas out. This will also help you get your composition of the painting right.
  • If you are not comfortable with this idea of blocking dominant areas out then try painting the canvas in sections moving from left to right or top to bottom. But this technique may pose problems with blending of colors, if you are using those paints that dry fast. This is an extremely useful technique for oil paintings
  • Another canvas painting tip that you could probably use if it works for you is start with the details first and then paint the background of the painting. Personally, I prefer it the other way; painting the background first and then adding the various details of the painting as this ensures that I do not smudge the details with the color of the background.
  • While it has been mentioned earlier to avoid the use of pencil on canvas, sometimes, when your drawing needs a lot of details, it becomes necessary. Even in such cases, I would suggest that you first make the drawing on a sheet of paper and then etch it on the canvas.
  • Now that you know what are the different techniques that you can use, focus your attention on studying the subject. Study it in terms of color, shape, texture, line, hard and soft edges, terms that painters would study it in. Try to fit the subject on your canvas with the help of a grid.
  • Once you have studied the subject and decided on the technique that you want to use for the painting, make a rough sketch of the same and then start painting the canvas.

After the Painting
Once you have finished the painting, there are certain important tips that need to be followed to ensure the life of not only the painting but also the different things that you use in order to make the painting.

  • One of the foremost things to keep in mind after you have finished the painting is to ensure that you allow it dry well. Whatever the medium that you have used in order to make the painting, it needs to be allowed to dry well. Try to cover the painting, so that dust does not gather on the painting.
  • Once the painting is dry, you should varnish it in order to preserve it. This will also give your painting a glossy look and negate the need of a glass protection when you frame it.
  • Take proper care of your paintbrushes. This is a very important to extend the shelf life of your brushes. Wash the brushes with warm water, which should be allowed to flow outside the bristles of the brush. After that dip the brushes into warm water mixed with soap. While dipping it into soapy water, ensure that you keep moving the brush rapidly and do not allow it to rest. Now do the same in clean water and repeat the process till the brush is cleaned completely without changing the color of the water it is dipped in. Use rubber bands to hang the brushes upside down, so that the water drains out.

Once you have finished your painting, do not be discouraged if it has not turned out the way you expected it to. Every painter in the history of the universe has started by painting pieces that would have seemed atrociously ugly to even the least discerning of art critics. Try again, as you need to get used to the medium of canvas in order to become better at it.

Charcoal Drawing Tips for That Bold Creation

unduhan-20The thing about charcoal drawing which differentiates it from other media of drawings, like pencil shading, brush work, or mechanical pen shading, is that it gives a very soft and subtle effect. Also, a charcoal sketch does not fade away with time, if cared for properly. You will see many portraits or drawings done by charcoal, as a soft drawing technique is required for portraits, which is naturally present in it. Drawing with charcoal is not difficult, but if you wish to do detailed drawings, then you need to practice different skills to get the proportions and shapes properly.

Required Materials

› Primarily, you need charcoal sticks and paper for this art form, both of which come in different varieties.
› Select a paper with a thick texture so that erasing or rubbing does not tear it.
› You can buy vine uncompressed charcoal, also known as willow charcoal, or use compressed charcoal that looks like graphite and comes in a pencil or stick form with soft or hard shapes.
› A good white eraser and kneaded eraser are also required to create tones and highlights, and also to make corrections.
› Blending stumps are good for adding minute details. You can also use small pieces of paper towels for rubbing the drawings.

Tips for Beginners

Understand Tones

Before attempting to draw with charcoal, you need to train your eye for understanding tones. This is the first lesson when it comes to shading with charcoal. Start by simply observing objects around you. Hold an object near you, and look out for three tones, viz., dark tones, medium tones, and highlights that are shown in a sketch as white.

Understand Shadows

Shadows are an integral part of charcoal sketches, as that is what is drawn on the paper in the first place. Suppose you are looking at an object that is illuminated by a ceiling light. The light is directly on top of the object in this case, and it will have few highlights that are tiny spots on the object, which are the brightest at the rim or near the top. You will see some light tones at the top of the object, medium tones around the middle region, and dark tones at the bottom. Finally, there will be a shadow somewhere on the surface on which it is placed.

Type of Paper

Charcoal will change its appearance depending on the type of paper you use for drawing. Smooth papers will not be able to hold the carbon dust and will fail to give a subtle feel to the drawing. So, it is better to use rough and grainy surfaces for drawing with charcoal. This will also make it easier for you to shade the drawing.

Avoid Smearing

Charcoal smears easily, which can be a curse or a blessing. You can use smearing to your advantage for shading your drawing, but this can also spell doom if you cannot help resting your hand on the page while drawing. In such situations, you can tape the paper to a wall and draw vertically. If you are not comfortable with drawing vertically, use a fixative on the parts of the drawing that you have finished to avoid smudging. If you cannot find a fixative, any hair spray will work just fine.

Try Unconventional Techniques

Most people think that drawing with charcoal is done just like pencil sketching, but you can also work backwards. You can cover a whole paper with charcoal and then “draw” with an eraser. This will give a striking effect to your drawing.


There are no rules in art, so you can experiment with various techniques in charcoal drawing and come up with what works best for you. Try different styles, strokes, and techniques, and create different types of drawings that are unique.


Even though charcoal drawing techniques are relatively simple, you cannot expect to master this art overnight. Practice makes a man perfect, and this also applies to drawing with charcoal. So, try different styles of drawing with this versatile material and practice them to come up with something original.

These were the various charcoal art tips. So, gather your supplies and start practicing them. First, make some simple still life sketches, and as you gather more skills, make portraits. You can find many drawing tips and video tutorials online that will help you learn the art of drawing with charcoal.

Warm-up Art Called Gesture Drawing Ideas

The method of gesture drawing is used by artists to loosen up, just like athletes warm up before a game. In this form, one has to quickly sketch things he has already seen. Such kind of drawing is generally completed within 10-30 seconds. Using gesture drawing for animation and general sketching is common. This activity helps in creating drawings quickly by analyzing the objects. Let us understand more about this technique through the paragraphs below.

A form of drawing which depicts action or movement is known as gesture drawing. Presenting a human figure in motion can also be termed as gesture drawing. It is the depiction of character/essence of what one observes. The activity of portraying motion through gesture helps depict the relation between forms/objects with their surroundings.

A simple, step-by-step and easy-to-understand procedure of making a gestural drawing is given below.

  • The object to be drawn should be placed in front and observed properly.
  • A charcoal (about 1-1½) should be used for drawing. One should just glance at the paper occasionally while drawing.
  • The process of drawing should be a continuous one. The general shape of object, important curves, angles, etc. should be sketched quickly in order to get an idea about the basic outline or probably the nature of the drawing.
  • The strokes made while sketching need not be limited only up to the outer areas of the drawing. One can also think about working through the basic shape.
  • If the hand eye movement is coordinated properly, one can draw a satisfactory sketch in quick time.
  • To establish the proportion of the whole sketch, it is recommended to draw a line from top to the bottom of the sketch.
  • Once all the basic shapes, angles, curves are drawn, detailing should be completed. The sketch should be created within 30 seconds. Time limit for drawing should be increased gradually for different drawing poses.

Mass Gesture Drawing
To make mass drawings, the general guidelines remain the same; however, few things differ. Lines used for creating these sketches need to be broad. The charcoal should be held sideways for making such drawings. One should start from the interior of the sketch and progress towards the outline. Keeping in mind the baseline of still objects is important. Pressing the charcoal harder is the way of adding depth to the sketches that are drawn farther away. The pressure on charcoal needs to be lightened while drawing an object that appears to close in. The light and dark effect is an important feature of mass drawing as it helps in unifying the drawing and creating a rhythm.

Sustained Gesture Drawing
The sustained gesture drawings are created with an objective of combining the activity of the object with its actual appearance. A quick study about what is expected in the drawing should be carried out and appearance of the object should be analyzed. The proportions and scale which defines the dimensions of the drawing should be understood. Edges need to be drawn beforehand as it helps in developing the sketch further and to carrying out the detailing. The movement or activity to be portrayed in the drawing should be verbalized in the mind. The sketching work becomes much easier with this activity. One should first begin with light strokes and should continue for 2 minutes and stopping only to analyze the subject should be the set procedure. Corrections if any, should be made after analyzing the drawing.

The gesture drawing examples could be anything we see in day-to-day life. One should practice a lot to master this form of drawing.