Equipment to Paint Images on Canvas

by Daisy Peasblossom Fernchild Google
Oil paint on canvas became a favored medium for artists due to its relative durability.

Oil paint on canvas became a favored medium for artists due to its relative durability. Images

Canvas is a traditional surface on which to paint images and pictures. You can use a variety of tools and methods to create the images, ranging from traditional methods evolved by such famous painters as Da Vinci and Michalangelo to more modern methods using technologically based tools. The steps for painting on canvas include preparing the canvas, putting the image sketch or outline on the canvas and finally adding color. Whatever the method, the result should be both durable and cleanable.

Traditional Methods

An artist planning to paint on canvas would make several studies, then combine them into a sketch on canvas. A projection method called "en camera" was sometimes used to produce the outline. Colors -- usually pigment mixed with oil -- would then be smeared onto the canvas using brushes made from hair or other fibers, wads of fabric or lint, sticks or a flexible metal palette knife.

Spatter Methods

Modern artists developed alternative methods for applying paint to canvas, often using nontraditional art paints such as those developed for house painting. They would spatter the canvas by scraping a flat surface over a toothbrush and directing the spray onto the canvas, squirting the paint onto the canvas using water guns or condiment bottles or simply slinging the liquid paint at the canvas directly out of the bucket.


Airbrushing is achieved by spraying the paint on the canvas using a small atomizer hooked to an air tank; the airbrush apparatus requires an electrical supply to operate. The size of spray can be varied, and talented airbrush artists can produce amazing results. This technique is also used to add custom paint jobs to vehicles, for example.

Computer Printing

Computers can be used to project images onto a canvas, making the process of creating the sketch for traditional methods of paint application much easier. Computer printing is also a part of the process of creating the commercially available painterly reproductions of famous works sold at many home decorating stores.


  • Oil Painting for Dummies; Anita Giddings; 2008
  • The Painter in Oil; Daniel Burleigh Parkhurst; 1898
  • Modernism; Chris Butler; 2010
  • Airbrush Art; N.A. Pelones; 2010

Photo Credits

  • Images