Easy Things to Paint Canvas for Beginners

How to Paint Canvas for Beginners

Learning to paint on canvas can be easy, especially if you enjoy what you're doing. Canvas gives a broad area for you to paint, leaves you free to create and compose your painting and ideas. With no rules that limit what you paint on canvas, you give body and color to your ideas. Until you're satisfied with how you painted details and blended your colors.

From this blog, you will finish the first time to paint on canvas, because the painting idea for beginners will be illustrated at the end of the blog.

painting flower

Step 1: Choose Your Paint Type

●Watercolor Paint

Watercolor paint is a medium that consists of finely ground pigment dissolved in water and held together by a colloid agent, often a gum, such as gum Arabic. As water evaporates, the gum Arabic binds it onto a working surface when the paint is applied with the brush.

Because the water flows, the fluid character of watercolor paint is a bit difficult to control and master. Beginners find it hard to correct mistakes because watercolor dries up fast. But given the challenge of its qualities, watercolor has its charm. You can paint soft blends. As you work your way through it, you can create subtle or expressive touches onto your canvas.

easy canvas painting

●Oil Paint

Oil paints on canvas consist of pigment powder mixed with a drying oil medium as its binder. Drying oils are linseed oil, walnut oil, poppy seed oil, or safflower oil.

Oil paint is easier to handle. You can scrape off various types of paint with your palette knife or if it's a small mistake, wipe it off with a rag. This is an advantage when beginners paint the canvas with oil, which they're unfamiliar with. Oil paint is easier to control. It is opaque. You can paint on canvas over a layer that you want to change. You can vary the consistency of your paint by adding thinners on cotton canvas.

Oil paint on canvas takes longer to dry, in a day or more. This can be a plus for you as you paint the canvas with oil. You don't need to finish your creation right away because the paint on canvas will still be wet the next day, and you can add to your composition.

azatta oil painting

●Basic Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint on canvas is made of pigments in a water-soluble polymer media or dissolves in water and thickens it. It becomes water-resistant upon drying. An advantage is that acrylic dries quickly. It is easy to clean, acrylic paints are heavily pigmented so colors are bold and vibrant. Acrylic paint on canvas does not spread, unlike acrylic gesso, gouache or watercolor.

Acrylic paint on canvas dries fast, in only a few minutes. Processional artists and teachers say that beginners will find it easy to paint any type of canvas with acrylic, because acrylic is easy to handle. You can paint over areas that have dried and they'll still look good. Note that you can paint layers over dried areas but you cannot re-do the work of art.

acrylic painting


Gouache is highly pigmented, a water-medium paint, made of natural pigment, water, and a binding agent, i.e. dextrin or gum arabic. White pigment is added. This makes gouache opaque. While it retains the properties of watercolor, like its water-soluble property, its opaque quality and vibrant color make gouache similar to acrylic paint.

Gouache painting is relatively easy for beginners. You can reactivate gouache by adding water when it dries. So changes can be made after gouache dries. Simply re-wet gouache, you can adjust color or image applied, even after months have passed. There's also a tendency to paint smaller paintings with gouache, so it makes for easy handling.

gouache painting

Step 2: Preparing your painting supplies

Your choice of brushes depends on the color medium. Beginners paint the canvas with the right brushes to paint colors well on the canvas.



Watercolor brushes are round, flat, wash. A beginner can comfortably use three round brushes; a small size-3, a medium size-6; a large size 12. Round brushes help produce fine lines, broad strokes, and straight edges. Use the larger-sized round brushes to render washes, covering large areas of your canvas.

Watercolor brushes are synthetic bristle brushes. These keep the right amount of water for your composition.


As beginners paint to canvas, they use oil brushes made from natural pig hair, which is tough and durable and will mark strongly on canvas. Use the bristle brushes for washes, i.e. broad areas, backgrounds. Middle-size brushes have sharp edges, for rendering details. For finer details, use small, round sable brushes. Sable brushes are more delicate, and also more expensive. You can use flat brushes, rectangular in shape, for narrow, bold strokes.

Eventually, you'll choose your brush size and shape. But you can start with a round brush, size #2 and four brushes in other shapes, sizes #4 to 8.


Acrylic painters use brushes made of synthetic fibers. They cost less and are easy to clean. Beginners can use middle-sized acrylic paint brushes, sizes 6 and 8. These can hold a smaller bead of the paint, and help apply the paint. Acrylic paint brushes are bigger in size; brush hairs are denser for better pigmentation.


When beginners paint the canvas with gouache, they need three brushes: a large round brush, a smaller round brush, and a broad brush to paint washes. Synthetic brushes are good for gouache painting. But you can also try other brush types such as natural hair. Note that soft textured brushes are good brushes for gouache painting.

various of brushes

●Paint Set


Available acrylic paints include students' paints and artists' paints. Beginners use student-grade acrylic paints because these are formulated to deal with mistakes in the painting process. They're also more affordable


If you wish to mix colors, begin with the basics and buy separate, 200 ml tubes of white, black, blue, yellow, red paints. Or if you prefer a kit with complete colors, this is fine.

Keep in mind that essential oil colors are cadmium red, titanium white, ivory black, ultramarine blue, cadmium yellow, permanent alizarin crimson


Watercolor paints come in a pack of 36 color tubes or as a pan of small, dry color blocks.


A good start can be made with a few primary colors, and with tubes of black and white. You can mix these into your choice of hues of colors.

various of paint set

●Pre-Primed Canvas

Before beginners paint to canvas, it's important to prep and prime the canvas. Let your flat brushes give the canvas a light water wash. Leave it to dry. This prepares the canvas for your painting colors and allows a smooth color flow. If you don't prime your canvas, the colors may not appear smooth on the canvas. However, painting mediums react differently to primed canvas surfaces so it's best to observe the effects of priming and experiment on your techniques, based on your observation.


Watercolor canvases are a new invention, with various forms, like a stretched canvas, canvas pads, canvas boards. They're suited for watercolor artists who like the look of canvas.

Watercolors stay wet for a longer time on canvas than on paper. Even if the canvas is primed with gesso, formulated for use with watercolor, its surface will not be as absorbent as watercolor paper. So blending the watercolors becomes hard. It's best to experiment until you can easily handle painting on watercolor canvas.


Oil paint primer is the traditional gesso primer. For oil painting, it's necessary to prime and seals the canvas. It gives a less absorbent, smoother texture to the canvas and your brush can more easily move across the canvas surface. If the canvas is unprimed, in time, chemicals from the oil paint on canvas will let the canvas deteriorate.


An unprimed canvas, with its absorbent surface, will absorb the acrylic paint on canvas. So it's best to prime the canvas with gesso before you paint with acrylic.


If the canvas is pre-primed with gesso for gouache painting, the paint will not stick to the surface of the canvas. It's better to use gouache on raw, unprimed canvas.

various of pre-primed canvas

Step 3: Painting flowers on your canvas

As beginners paint to canvas, here are some tips on easy things to paint flowers.

Learning to paint lavender with acrylic

When the background is dry, it's time to paint the lavender flowers. Begin with the stems. Add green paint to your palette.

With a clean brush, paint some green on the handle of a long paintbrush. Press this onto the canvas and you have your green stem. It's okay if the stems aren't perfect. This will be an abstract painting.

Repeat this action using different tints of green: Mix bits of white into green. These green tints of stems will add dimension. Then let the green paint dry

Begin to make your lavender painting with cotton buds. Use the lighter color purple, dab your cotton bud into the paint. Dot them around the stems. These form petals of the lavender flower. Repeat this to paint your lavender flowers. Let them dry after.

Then use the darker purple color. With a clean cotton bud, create dots on the top of the lighter petals of these lavender flowers.

Create your highlights on the lavender petals, using a lighter purple shade. Take light purple paint, mix with white paint to get a very light purple paint. Use a clean cotton bud, dab this light color on the petals of the flowers.

Let your painting dry. Your serene lavender masterpiece is done, to be ready to hang in your living room. Also, you have learned some acrylic techniques and color mixing now.

lavender canvas


As you continue to experiment with different color mediums and easy things to paint canvas, you can express your ideas, feelings, yourself in art with satisfaction. To gain inspiration on images they want to create, beginners with a passion for art can explore the galleries of Azatta, and expand experience viewing the decorative painting, canvas wall art, with creative renditions of landscapes, meadows, flowers and animals.