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How To Paint A Canvas

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You’ve often heard the expression “blank canvas” to describe the ability to start anew or afresh. But unless you’ve ever stared at a real canvas, paintbrush in hand, you don’t really know what it’s like to craft something from scratch. As you look at the pale beige material in front of you, infinite possibilities are staring back.


If you’ve never tried to paint a canvas before, you’re in for a treat. In this post, we’re going to take a look at all the techniques you need to know, and where you should start. By the end of it, you should be able to create original art prints you can put up around your home!


Collect Your Supplies

Before you can begin painting, you’ll need to ensure that you have all the right supplies and set up your canvas adequately. 


You’ll need to paint and paintbrushes, of course. But you’ll also have to invest in palette knives, various bowls and, of course, a drawer where you keep your spare paint. 


You’ll also need to set the canvas up in a way that is suitable for you. Do you prefer working in bright light? Or are you one of these people who prefer the ambiance of a moody cellar? Only experimentation will tell you which is the right setup for you.


Prepare The Canvas In Advance

If you’re a beginner, you’ll want to start with a pre-stretched canvas pulled over a wooden frame. These tend to be the best for those just looking to get going in the world of art. 


After you’ve selected the right canvas, most artists prepare it for paint with a priming agent, like gesso. These substances work their way into all of the gaps in the fiber material, allowing you to apply your paint more smoothly and convincingly. 


Check Your Colours


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After you’ve done that, you need to check your colors to make sure that they are the right shade before you start painting. See what colors look like on a scrap piece of canvas or even paper and make sure that you have the right tone. You don’t want to have to go back and change things afterward. 

Start Underpainting
Underpainting is the practice of creating a darker, moodier base layer to the painting, which adds depth to the finished article. Usually, here, you’ll shade areas and provide a rough outline of the final, finished piece. For instance, if you’re painting a landscape, you might want to create an underpainting for the sky and rolling countryside. 

Create A Space For Your Canvas To Dry

Once you finish painting, you’ll need to leave your canvas somewhere to dry overnight. Most canvases should be taken off the easel and placed face up so that they can dry properly without risk of the paint running, particularly if you paint in heavy strokes. 


Find somewhere quiet and clean in your home to leave paintings once you’re finished for a session. Make sure that they are well out of the way of other people. 

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