Canvas your art options


    The rush of new ideas, the excitement of that first brush stroke, the endless possibilities of a blank canvas — the world of canvas painting is boundless. It allows people to be themselves without fear of judgement or reprimand, because art has no wrong answers.
    College can be stressful for students with full schedules as they rush to get assignments turned in and study for tests. These are the students who need to slow down and enjoy a pastime with no deadlines, grades or restrictions on creativity.
    Canvas painting offers a broad range of options for beginners who aren’t sure what type of art they would like to pursue. Normally, you need to know how to draw fairly well before using paint, but drawing isn’t necessary if you don’t enjoy it.

    For a variety of paints, canvases and tools, Hobby Lobby has the widest selection, but if you are looking for lower prices, then Wal-Mart might be a better choice. However, Nancy Morrow, associate professor of art and Abbey Prockish, junior in elementary education and a canvas artist, said they both use Varney’s Bookstore in Aggieville for their art needs.
    “Varney’s has been really great about ordering things I’ve needed, but I also order a number of materials online,” Morrow said.
    Prockish said she used Varney’s to buy an oil painting kit that she used in several art classes. Oil was also one of her favorite mediums to work with.

    To start off with, you will need to pick up some general supplies. First, select which paint medium you would like to use. There are watercolors, pastels, acrylic, oils and water-based oils. Some artists prefer acrylics for beginners because the paints clean up easily and dry quickly. Morrow said she thinks oil is the most appropriate for beginning painters.
    “It blends the easiest, offers rich surface and color and allows layers to be built up without becoming leathery,” she said.

    Don’t forget to pick up a paint palette when choosing paints. You could splurge and get a dark, wooden palette or go the cheaper route and get a plastic tray or even use paper plates. Whatever you use, be sure to leave enough room to mix colors and rest your brushes.

    After deciding on your paint, select the size of canvas to paint on. Canvases come in all shapes and sizes, from the size of a standard business card to much larger wall-size canvases. If you are a bit more experienced and would like to get creative, try following Morrow’s example and paint on birch panels for a smooth, hard surface. Birch also allows the artist to erase mistakes with an electric sander.

    If you think you could paint with it, you probably can. Brushes, rags, painting knives, rollers or even classic finger painting can all be cheap, fun resources when trying to paint on canvas. Just be sure the paint will wash off whichever tool is used, unless you want to be caught red-handed with your roommate’s favorite wool sweater drenched in pastel acrylics.