Here are 15 Canvas Painting Ideas (Best Of 2020) for you!

Having a big blank canvas and paints is not everything! Canvas Paintings takes a lot more from an artist, it takes patience, hard work and tons of creativity towards portraying the exceptional thoughts. However, when it comes to thinking about a unique idea for a canvas painting idea, even great artists have to struggle. Therefore, we from Indian Shelf are here to guide you with 15 canvas-painting ideas.

You can make both acrylic paintings on canvas and oil paintings on canvas, so let us get started!

1)   Abstract Quote Canvas:

Find a quote that attracts you and goes well with the environment of your home, the stencil the letters with pieces of tape on your canvas board. Choose a mix of paint colours and paint the canvas board with them. Once the painting gets dry, remove the tape and you will end up with a beautiful canvas that inspires you with the message.

2)   Pixel Painting:

Design a pixelated pattern on your canvas board using a grid of colours having the same hue. Then, draw equal-sized squares across the surface of your canvas and paint all of them with slightly different tones. This pixel painting is perfect for offices and other professional use. In addition, these canvas paintings are perfect to be hung in a living room, bedroom or office.

3)   Splash Art:

Cover your canvas board with one solid colour paint, and then splatter vibrant colours across the surface. Create this DIY project; this will be definitely a perfect painting hanging at your home. Ensure the paint that does not splatter on anything valuable in your home.

4)   Modern Art Canvas:

Do you want to create wall paintings that look professional as well as aesthetic for your home? Paint a contemporary design with bright colours like orange or red and make your wall pop out with amazing vibes.

5)   Large Canvas Art:

Cover a large canvas with a neutral background colour and choose a simple, abstract, and creative design, without worrying about minor details and perfect symmetry. If you are thinking to create a canvas painting from very long but not getting any idea, then you should try making large canvas painting.

6)   Ombre Art:

You may not about ombre canvas painting, but it is a must try for an artist! You can create an ombre effect by gradually intensify the colour on your canvas. Calm colours like green and blue go best with ombre canvas painting, they provide a relaxing ambience

7)   Stripped Canvas Art:

Are you thinking about stripped canvas painting? Find the answer with us! Draw lines and fill them with paint colours. Doing this decorates your walls in simple and modern style with striped canvases. After this, find colours that match with your other decor, whether that is green, blue or purple.

8)   Fluid Canvas Painting:

Boost the mood of your bedroom or guest room with stunning abstract fluid canvas painting art! Try fluid canvas painting and create a piece that your guests will never forget. When is the next time, you are going to try fluid canvas painting?

9)   All-White Canvas Art:

Not always an abundance of colours makes the paintings great! Sometimes, it is the thought that makes the painting unique. All-white canvas art does not require an overabundance of colours, fill your canvas board with white colour and complete with an inspiring quote and image and it will turn out as a classic canvas painting.

10) Beach Inspired Canvas Painting Art:

Fill your canvas board with blue tones and other sea colours to resemble flowing water. Then, write a phrase and paint with white colour paint on a phrase to keep it simply nautical.

11)   Splash Canvas Painting:

Splash your canvas board with all the brightest colours you love, it can be an orange, pink, or yellow colour. Throw on as much paint as you want, this canvas painting looks the best when it is hung in the living room, bedroom, or basement.

12) Simple Quote Canvas Painting:

When you are completely out of ideas, go for simple quote canvas painting. Incorporate several fonts for a lovely quote canvas and colour schemes like grey and white for cohesion. Try this idea of painting for sure; you will get the best results!

13)Yarn Canvas Painting:

Yarn canvas painting is another and wonderful canvas painting idea. Get yarn or thick thread from the market and paste it on your canvas board in a random way. Follow it by painting with multiple colours like yellow, blue, and green. Hang this painting in your living room and trust us, your guests are going to love it.

14)Ombre Quote Canvas Painting:

Follow the same steps as mentioned above for the ombre canvas painting and add a phrase on your board. Add quote, phrase, or anything to make it personalize the piece.

15) Spray Canvas Painting

Art should be enjoyable to create! Right? Fill the blank space on your canvas with spray paint and add traditional colours with metallic for a shiny finish. You will definitely get an exceptional canvas art.

Do You Know True History of Canvas Paintings? Read It

Canvas is the best way to display the talent for an artist! Whatever he/she thinks portrays on canvas. From amazing oil paintings to other beautiful canvas paintings, there is something that makes it prestigious and out of the world. However, are you aware of the historical pages of the canvas paintings? Kudos to you, if the answer is yes, but, if the answer is no, then we are here to give you insights about canvas painting.

History Of Canvas Paintings:

The word ‘Canvas’ comes from the Latin word Cannabis, the canvas is historically made from tightly woven hemp and came into common usage in the 16th century during the Italian Renaissance. Venetian painters were especially keen on utilizing canvas for recording ancient history because it was easier for them to use in a humid environment than other things like wood panels. They were also large and readily available at cheap rates. Moreover, canvases were also used by the Venetians to make sales as they were known for their naval fleet.

Read Also: History of Thangka Painting

Not just that, the canvas had several other advantages that replaced the wood panels completely. Some of them are as follows:

  • Durability: Canvas was more durable than wood panels! It was more suitable to Venice’s humid climate, unlike wood panels, it does not deteriorate and wraps in wet conditions.
  • Portable: Canvas is lighter than wood panels and it can be rolled up, making it easier to transport.
  • Available: Canvas was affordable in Venice and readily available because it was used for making sails.
  • Versatile: They are versatile as it can be produced in larger formats than wooden panels.

Read Also: History of Radha Krishna Paintings

Because of the above features, Spanish also started using canvas for the paintings. By the 17th century, the canvas was spread throughout Northern Europe, kicking the wooden panels out from the paintings and the trend continues until today. They are not only used for oil paintings, but artists also use it for everything from acrylic painting and embroidery to photo canvas paintings (prints). It allows painters and photographers to display their talent professionally.

Let us find out, how actually canvas is made?

Hemp and Linen were traditionally used to create a canvas and they can be still found today. Most of the industrial canvases are created by using cotton. Keeping the price of canvas affordable and quality durable, the cotton is best to use. It stretched and makes it less prone to cracking and damage. The cotton is woven using a plain weave, it increases its strength and artists can select canvas based on how tightly the cotton is woven.

Read Also: Paintings on Bedsheets

After weaving, the canvas is wrapped around stretchers and painted by gesso. The layer of gesso ensures that oil paint would not come directly in contact with the canvas. Avoiding the layer of gesso can cause major problems to the canvas later. Some artists prefer to buy pre-prepared canvases. They prefer to do the treatment themselves; it gives greater flexibility about how much of the canvas weave shows. Many artists love incorporating this texture into their canvas paintings.

Got a big, blank canvas to work with? Here are some invaluable tips for canvas painting. Keep Scrolling to know more!

  • Begin your canvas painting by setting up your canvas and other supplies! Having your paintbrushes, palette knives, water and any other supplies ready makes your painting time stress free and fun.


  • One paintbrush does not fit all! You need to use an acrylic or oil-paint-brush that have long handles and stiff bristles for a canvas painting. You cannot create a canvas with the delicate watercolour brushes.


  • If you are beginning your canvas painting with a pre-stretched canvas, then you need to prime the canvas with a material like gesso before getting started. Gesso seals off the fibres of the canvas and makes the paint go smoother and last longer, and also protects your brushes.

Read Also: History of Mughal Paintings

  • First, test the colours on your canvas! Because, oil paint does not change much, when dry, but acrylics will end up slightly darker than they look while you are painting. Simply paint swatches on scrap paper and let dry before moving onto the canvas to test out the colours.
  • In addition to gesso, apply a background colour on your canvas! This provides an all-over tone to your canvas and instantly sets the mood. Why? A bright white canvas might not be suitable for your concept, but a coat of light grey or green can give you a better starting point.
  • Once you are done, have a safe space for your canvas painting to dry! Be sure even before you start the painting, that whether you have a safe spot for it to dry. Even the slightest touch to the paint can cause sticking and messy clean-up. Simply, keep it on a big table, which is out of the reach from your friends and family.

We hope all this will help you in beginning with canvas painting or finding a suitable one for your home or office. For more information, stay tuned to Indian shelf!

Real History of Thangka Painting –

Origin of Thangka paintings comes from India. The Thangka paintings were started in the early 3rd century BC in the major areas of Nepal and Tibet; however; it came into existence after it began in India. “Thangka” is a Tibetan word which means the written record so; the aim to create Thangka paintings is to keep the written record of Buddha as Newari and Thangka.

In these Thanga paintings, the Hindu god and Buddhist are jotted down together on a single piece of canvas in the form of some unusual art. When you see these paintings, you can find that Gautam Buddha is represented doing some meditation or wheel of his life whereas Hindu god and goddess are represented doing some other work.

Historical aspects of Thanga paintings

Well, Thanga paintings were the most popular and exclusive Tibetan art form in that period. In the century between 7th to 12th it got more evolved and famous.

In the 7th century during the rule time of Angshuvarma, Mahayana Buddhism was being introduced to the Tibet people. In the period, people were very obsessed with religion and wanted to see the Buddha in the newly created monasteries. However, the look of Tibetan Thangka painting change with time to time. So, in the 15th century as the tantric cult increase, the use of bright colour is also increased in the paintings of Buddha.

Read Also: History of Pichwai Paintings

Tibetan and Nepali people started painting not only Buddha but also Hindu god and goddess such as Shiva and Shakti, Manjushri, Lokeshwara, Mahakal in a very conventional manner. In such a way the history of Thangka paintings India varies with the time.

How Thanga paintings are created

Well, the Thangka painting creation is a very complicated task, and it requires a lot of attention while creating the picture. And the things which must be taken care while designing the paintings of Buddha is the sutras by which accordance the beginning and end of painting creation take place.

Well, there are numerous steps which are considered while creating the Thanga paintings such as the creation of canvas, colour application and finalization of the picture. Multiple accessories are also attached to the Thangka paintings such as the golden and silver linings, hanging, stitching, etc. The complete dedication and care have been taken while creating the Thanga painting because a single stroke me ruin the entire hard work of an artist.

Steps were taken while creating the paintings

1) Prepare the canvas

To create the Thanga painting, the first thing you need is the canvas. You need a smooth, flat and white cotton canvas to create the Thanga paintings. You should make sure that the cloth must not be damaged, dirty or do not have holes and it should be in the proper size of your paintings.

Now, sew all four sides of your canvas with the bamboo and tighten the frame to make the painting. To give a more textured look, the artist used to cover the art with the glue and then let it dry and in such a way you can provide a new texture to your paintings. However, the artist repeats the entire process 8 to 10 times in such a way that canvas will get coated entirely.

Well, after this artist used to moist the small area of the canvas and then rub the entire area with marble to give a smooth finish to your art and after repeating the same thing around 7 to 8 times the art become more harmonious and then it is polished with conch shell and it is ready to paint.

2) Select the colour for your Thangka painting

I must say that colour has significant importance in Thanga paintings and to show the actual feel the artist used the two different type of colouring technique and each of them has its features. The First colouring technique is Conventional Chinese paint and artist used them to display the extended period, and it gets faded with the time.

Read Also: History of Mughal Paintings

And the other is metallic paint, and the mineral paint does not get fade with time like the Conventional Chinese paint. The most commonly used colours are red, white, black, rouge and blue and all these paints are being derived from natural resources such as coral, coloured glaze, gold and so on.

3) The role of the brush in Thanga paintings

Brushes are essential in paintings, and in Tibetan Thangka paintings carbon brushes are used. These brushes are of different size, texture, and the type and also created for a different purpose. So, brushes are essential because the artist has to manage the small detailing in the Thangka painting which is the most important and impressive part of Thanga paintings.

Step by step process of creating a Thangka painting

The entire preparation of Thangka painting has significant 9 steps. So, we will understand all the nine steps of the creation process of Thangka paintings.

1) Make a draw/ draft with the help of carbon brushes

Yes, this is the initial step taken by the artists who are making the Thangka paintings. They used to make the draft drawing of their masterpiece with the carbon brushes, or you can say a sharp picture. The advantage of making a sketch is that the artist can erase the mistake and then draw it again.

Read Also: Radha Krishna Paintings | Krishna Paintings | Radha Paintings

In these sketches, artists represent the different figures, and he must know the measurement of deities, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. In Thangka painting, you can observe that there is one main icon image and numerous background image or the background stories in every picture.

2) Colour painting

After creating the sketch, the artist used colour paintings. You can say that colouring is the process of giving a specific design of the picture. While applying you have to follow some colouring sequences such as start colouring from the sky and then with the background and at last colour the main icon image.

3) Shading gives a natural look

Once the colouring is finished artist used to do shading to provide a natural and drastic look to the paintings. Shading enhances the entire painting story and looks and makes your Thangka painting more beautiful and attractive.

4) Minor and major detailing

Detail means enhancing the background and foreground look of your art and to perform the detailing in Thangka painting. It would probably take 15 to 20 days.

Read Also: History of Radha Krishna Paintings

5) Figuring and body shading

In this step, the artist used to shade the colour to give a perfect look of body parts. Apart from that, the artist used to shelter birds, fruits, animals, etc. In the painting to give a more realistic look to the picture.

6) Apply gold on the paintings

To provide a final finishing and the great look, some amount of gold is used in the picture to highlight the essential parts.

7) Make the eyes opening

The primary work of Thangka artist is this; artists do not make the first eyes of Buddha instead of making the eyes figure, the artist used to establish themselves as the offerings of Buddha to keep their mind, body, and speech acts.

8) Brocading

The tailor does this step. Tailor brocade fixes the entire canvas, and your Thangka painting is completed.

9) Performing Consecration

Well, this is the essential step of Thangka painting in which the newly created paintings of Buddha is taken by the artist to the Buddhist master and requests them to give master blessings.

Read Also: History of Tanjore Art

Now, master gifted the painting with clean and clear thought so that they can bring the painting alive and this is how the consecration is performed in the Thangka paintings.


Thangka paintings depict the entire story of Buddha such as how spiritual he is. To create a Thanga painting, the artist should have good knowledge and expertise in understanding the use of colours as per the depiction. So, Thangka paintings are beautiful and display the beautiful thoughts of Gautam Buddha.

History of Mughal Paintings

Mughal Paintings has the influence of Buddhist, Jain and Hindu religion. Generally, the paintings were created in a form of books illustration, miniatures or as a single/ one piece painting. These paintings play an important role in the history of Indian Paintings. Mughal Paintings evolved during various Mughal emperors and they were very impressed and inspired by the Persian school of miniature and used the same typical miniatures in their Mughal Paintings. Mughal used different themes to make their miniatures or paintings such as legendary stories, wildlife, royal life, hunting scenes, battlefield, Muslim mythology and more. And the best part of these paintings is that they have now become the main medium to describe the tales of the Mughal Empire. This form of art was so famous at that many Indian courts also used Mughal style paintings. And in our present time, there is a huge collection of many Mughal Paintings in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Historic information about Mughal Paintings

The historical representation of Mughal Paintings is very distinct from our imagination. Mughal Empire came into known in India; the Delhi Sultanate has already ruled various parts of India and its subcontinent. The miniature was into existence from the 10th century in the variable region of India and continues to grow in many Indian regional courts during the ruling of Delhi Sultanate. Emperor Humayun brought the two most famous Persian artists named Abd al-Samad and Mir Saiyyad Ali when he was returning from his exile. Mir Abd al-Samad created many famous paintings called “Khamsa of Nizami” after the instructions and orders given by the Emperor Humayun.  These paintings have diverged towards more to a new form of a part known as Mughal Paintings and away from the traditional Persian art form. And this how the style of Mughal Paintings was born.

Read Also: History of Canvas Paintings

These Mughal Paintings became more amongst various rulers because they thought that this is the suitable and interesting idea to portray their royalty and fascinating stories in this way. And these rulers though that this is the greatest way to depict their achievements and bravery in war. Akbar the son of Humayun took this Mughal Paintings into the new heights of Indian Paintings. He planned to extend his father library after the death of his Humayun. He was fond of Mughal arts and Mughal paintings become more famous during the ruling age of Akbar. And this ritual is again forwarded to his successors such as Shah Jahan and Dara Sikoh. So, let’s have a look at the development of Mughal paintings in the ruling age of various Mughal Emperors.

Evolution of Mughal Paintings during Akbar ruling

Akbar is very close to his father Humayun and due to that reason he thought to extend this Mughal art as a symbol of their Mughal talent. He learned so many things with Abd al-Samad and then he developed the Mughal Paintings by giving a very attention towards the artwork. Akbar had numerous painters and he also narrated his “Tutinama” and also created 250 miniatures to narrate “Tutinama” and this “Tutinama” is Cleveland Museum of Art. The other famous paintings of Akbar time is Darab Nama, Kamsa of Nizami, Baharistan, Gulistan and more. Gulistan was by Saadi Shirazi at Fatehpur Sikri.

Evolution of Mughal Paintings during Jahangir ruling

Jahangir is very much interest towards art just like his father Akbar had and this interest of Jahangir is become of major of growth in Mughal Paintings and Indian Paintings as well. He was very much influenced by the European artist that’s why ordered his painters to use European techniques and perspective for paintings. This painting’s history is more largely commissioned when Jahangir started portraying Kings and Queens with the help of European techniques. Jahangir used fine brush light colors and single strokes in the Mughal Paintings after getting inspired by European paintings. And the major project of Jahangir was the “Jahangirnama”. It was basically an autobiography of Jahangir himself which portrayed the Mughal paintings with distinct themes, spider fighting. He also created more paintings of birds, flowers, and animals in a much realistic manner.

Evolution of Mughal Paintings during Shah Jahan ruling

During the ruling reign of Shah Jahan, Mughal Paintings led with more amazing and realistic paintings. Shah Jahan focused on creating the paintings of the garden because he thought that this kind of paintings will give an aesthetic pleasure and he was also very interested in creating paintings of lovers in some intimate positions. He commissioned an important work during his ruling period called as “Padshanama” and this was very lavish and luxurious because it had gold plating work. In Padshanama, the achievements of Kings in the courts with other servants and courtier were depicted. In this work, several servants are portrayed in the paintings with amazing detailing with frontal view technique.

Evolution of Mughal Paintings during Aurangzeb ruling

As all the predecessors of Aurangzeb encourage the Mughal paintings, unlike Aurangzeb did not have such support towards Mughal paintings. However, during the reign of Aurangzeb Mughal paintings already had the support of the common peoples and many paintings were during that period of time. Aurangzeb did not support or order these paintings so, painters decided to create them in their own workshops. However, Aurangzeb ordered the painters to close these workshops as soon as possible because he was not in favour of such paintings.

Outstanding painters of Mughal Period

Mughal Paintings are created by many amazing painters and these painters took care of miniatures to elaborate the tales of Mughal kings. This Mughal painting was started by the Persian artist Mir Saiyyad Ali and Abd al-Samad that were the main gems in the Mughal Paintings. However, in the 16th and 17th century many famous painters such as Basawan, Miskin, Daswanth and LAL who worked efficiently in the Mughal Empire. Akbar brought an artist named as Kesu Das to start European technique in their paintings and another known painter Govardhan worked in Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan reign with complete interest. Some of the other outstanding artists are Mushfiq, Fazl, and Kamal.

History of Tanjore Art

Tanjore paintings are one of the most popular forms of classical South Indian Paintings. This native art form comes from Thanjavur (also known as Tanjore), a city of Tamil Nadu.

It was the 16th century when the supremacy of Marathas originated Tanjore paintings also known as Thanjavur paintings.

Unlike other Indian Paintings, Tanjore paintings follow a different and unique pattern. Today, a few dedicated artists mostly based in Tamil Nadu have kept this tradition alive.

The dense composition, rich surface, and vibrant colours distinguish Tanjore paintings from another present form of Indian paintings.

A typical Tanjore painting has a common theme divulging child Krishna and his various pranks. The painting consists of a deity as the main figure with almond-shaped eyes and a well-rounded body.

A gem-set or glided technique is used to highlight certain aspects of the paintings like dresses, ornaments, etc. and sparkling stones and gold leaves are used. The paintings are colourful, bright and breathtakingly appealing.

It can become a centre of attraction in any of your room because it glows in the dark. Over the years, the Tanjore paintings have undergone various changes.

Though the style has changed, the technique remains the same. The reflection of Tanjore paintings lasts forever.

History & Evolution of Tanjore Paintings:

These paintings are named after a southern state of India which is Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu. The city is pronounced as Tanjore in English and so paintings are known as Tanjore Paintings.

The Thanjavur district is famous for its stunning art and architecture. And among all the Indian paintings, Tanjore paintings are considered as the most popular form of paintings.

The Maratha rule of Thanjavur started this stunning art form. Under the incumbency of the Nayak and Maratha princess, the Tanjore paintings flourished.

The two major communities which practised this art form were the Naidus from Madurai and the Rajus from Thanjavur.  Materials like glass, wood, and mica, as well as some unusual mediums like murals, ivory and manuscripts, were used for the paintings.

In the late centuries, the paintings were embedded with the real rubies, diamonds and other precious stones. But with the evolution of time, artificial and semi-precious stones gained popularity and got into the rage.

Making of Tanjore Paintings:

The very first and basic step involved in the making of stunning and beautiful Tanjore paintings is the drawing of the preliminary sketch of the image of the base.

The base is made from a piece of cloth, pasted over a wooden base. Further, the base is covered with a paste mixed up with zinc oxide and water-soluble adhesive.

After the applying the paste on the wooden base, the drawing is made and ornamented with cut glass, pearls, and semi-precious stones. Laces and threads are also used to decorate the paintings.

The thin sheets of gold are pasted on some part of the paintings, while the other parts are painted with bright colours to enhance the effect.

Tanjore Paintings and Modern Era:

Slowly and gradually, Tanjore painting is becoming famous all over the world.

They have a rich and aesthetic appeal that can attract anyone. As the theme of this painting is very spiritual so they give peace to the person who owns these paintings and to those who make them.

It has even become a motivational therapy for peace of mind. They can surely give a rest to your soul from the hectic schedules that one face in his daily life.

No matter that with time Tanjore paintings have evolved but the purity and its natural and native beauty are still present in these paintings. During festive seasons of South India, many people use these paintings to gift their loved ones as souvenirs.

They are largely used to change the environment of the offices or homes. Markets have the extensive range of Tanjore painting with different sizes and different prices to add beauty in your homes and to fit your budget.

These paintings have also become so popular because they are suitable for every corner of the home. Their spiritual theme makes them perfect for every corner of the home.

This time get a Tanjore painting for your home and spread the fragrance of spirituality around you!