Drawing your attention to canvas!

If you are an amateur artist like me, you may also be in the process of discovering new ways to express creativity. One fine day I decided to try my hand at canvas art, this was a new experience as the only sketching (some may call it doodling) I did before, was on notebooks or blank printer sheets!

After the blank canvas intimidated me for days… inspiration struck like lightening. On the occasion of my sister’s housewarming I decided to create a special hand made gift for her. An abstract art with spiritual meaning to bless their new abode.

Gift of blessings ©thedeardiaryblog2016

The initial challenge I faced with that little white canvas was it’s texture. I read up on this and here is the tried and tested knowledge I gained-

  1. A canvas could be linen or cotton stretched over a frame supporting it from behind, or stretched on a hard board. It is usually recommended to do minimum drawing on the canvas, as it will be painted over anyway. The preferred tool can be charcoal as it dissolves with the paints.
  2. For people who are new at this or not very confident to draw directly on canvas: it’s easier to transfer your paper drawing and then paint on canvas. (More about this below)
  3. A good idea is to create the outline of the image you intend to paint just to orient it according to the size of the canvas.
  4. Blend the charcoal with a dry brush to dust away from the loose charcoal and give a better idea of how the image will look like. Do not worry as the charcoal will dissolve once the paint is over it.
  5. To know more about which paints to use, take a look at my introductory art blog. For the paintings I posted in this blog I used acrylic paints from my art set shown below and ready made primed canvas from Michaels.

How to transfer a paper drawing on canvas:


  1. One way is to turn over the page with the drawing (flip over to the blank side) and color over (load) the entire sketch with a thick layer of graphite/ charcoal/ soft graphite pencil.
  2. Flip it over to the front of the drawing, place this on the canvas with drawing facing towards you. Secure it in position with tape.
  3. Trace over the drawing pressing really hard with the graphite pencil, pen or tortillon[1].
  4. Make sure you went over all the lines, then remove the tape and the paper to reveal the traced outline on canvas.
Busy at work ©thedeardiaryblog2016


  1. This technique is used when you intend to save the initial paper drawing but want the same picture as a canvas painting. Take a tracing sheet big enough to cover your drawing.
  2. Place it over the drawing and trace with a pencil or black pen (make sure it does not seep through and ruin your original). Trace over the drawing with as much detail as possible.

    First draft made on regular paper, then traced over to transfer on canvas ©thedeardiaryblog2016
  3.  Color over (load) the entire sketch with a thick layer of hard or ‘compressed charcoal’ better than using vine charcoal or charcoal pencils.
  4. Now place it on the canvas with the charcoal loaded side down, facing the canvas. Secure position of tracing paper with tape.
  5. Draw over the the outline of the drawing again! Make sure you go over the entire sketch so that the charcoal transfers on the canvas.
  6. Remove the tracing paper and Voila your canvas sketch is waiting to be painted!!
Shiv in trance ©thedeardiaryblog2016
Baby Krishna painting with stone work ©thedeardiaryblog2016
Landscape ©thedeardiaryblog2016

These are just a few of my attempts at art. As you can see I’m no Picasso but the journey of learning more about art is both liberating and fun. Go ahead splash some paint, spoil some canvases and create some magic!

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tortillon

2 Comments Add yours

    1. Thank you !! This means a lot coming from an artist like you 🙂


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