Dec 25

The Child’s Canvas

Little artistOne thing that I have noticed over the years is that art has moved from beautiful canvases to beautiful prints on your wall. Gone are the days where you have one or two canvases and many art buyers are spending hundreds on a print. Sure there really isn’t a need for a canvas anymore but there is something about a canvas that draws the eye – and if you don’t mind, the fingertip.

But forget about how a canvas looks on the wall and think about how it might feel like to paint. If you are a grown up, and not a painter, you probably haven’t given it much thought but imagine being a young child. The sound of the brush scratching across the canvas, the colors blending together; there is something about painting on canvas that ignites a child’s creativity.

For parents, this is a very inexpensive craft and requires very few supplies, many of which you can find at home. The canvases make excellent Christmas presents or can be used for any other time of the year. More than that, it is something that your child will love doing again and again.

What you need:

• Canvases: Most dollar stores offer canvases. Sometimes you can find little packs of 3 canvases measuring 3×5 inches or you can find individual canvases measuring 5×7 inches or 8×11 inches. For a buck, that makes it an excellent investment. I find that the 5×7 is the perfect size but go with one that you are comfortable with.
• Paint: Tempura paint works well on the canvases so don’t feel that you need to purchase expensive oil paints, unless you want to that is. I would only recommend oil paints for older children. Don’t forget the paint containers
• Paint Brushes: Go with several different types and sizes. If you don’t want to spend too much on brushes, dollar stores often stock paint brush kits that have 4 or 5 different tips.
• Frames: Frames are optional and the canvases still look nice without them.


1. One thing that I always recommend when making a craft for children is to take some time before hand and introduce the materials. Painting on a new medium can produce one of two effects; either your child finds it so interesting that he takes his time creating or he finds it so exciting that he smears paint on it in thick layers until all you have is a brown smear across the canvas. For this reason, it is much better to have an extra canvas or two handy so your child can get over this little burst of energy.
2. Add paint to each of the containers. If you are using tempura paint, add a touch of dish soap. This makes clean up much easier.
3. Allow your child the time to create. Change canvases when asked and allow the art to dry before hanging. Talk about the creations while your child is creating.
4. Write the date, what the drawing was and your child’s name on the canvas.
5. Give as a gift or hang on the wall for yourself.
And then run back to the store for more supplies because I am positive that your child will be hooked on creating canvas art.

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