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How to create a canvas picture

Making your own art work can be very rewarding, and you can choose exactly what you want. Here are some hints on how to create your own canvas picture, including advice on materials and styles.

Decide on your style

What style are you going for? Think about the room in which the canvas will be hung, and take your main inspiration from that. Size, shape, and colour are all important. If you want to order photo onto canvas, or printing onto canvas, there are many websites which will offer this service.

The best materials

Firstly, buy a ready-made canvas. You can buy ready-stretched canvases so
cheaply - try The Works or Poundstretcher. The surface is prepared for you to paint or glue straight onto it. For fabrics, beads, buttons or other craft items, go to your local market or seek out some individual haberdashery stores. If you're looking for papers to use, try wallpaper shops - you can go in and rip off a free sample from as many rolls as you like! It's best to use a glue gun (or PVA) for fastening small items to your canvas - though do be careful, as glue can sometimes seep through thinner fabrics and paper and it will leave a stain. You can also use a staple gun to fix fabric tightly onto the canvas frame. Emulsion pots from DIY stores can be useful for painting onto canvas. They are durable, ready-mixed colours, and are cheap to buy in small quantities. If you want to create an image, try using water-based acrylics - oils can be manipulated well, but are very messy and difficult to use for the beginner.

Inspiration

Be creative
Go shopping for your materials first, with a basic colour scheme in mind. You are likely to be inspired by what you find - a pretty patterned fabric might inspire you to theme your whole canvas around this one thing. Don't go out with a specific list of patterns and fabrics - you'll most likely be disappointed. Look at your surroundings
If your cushions are beaded, make your canvas beaded. If you have a velvet throw, find some velvet fabric to glue onto your canvas. If your room is bare, go wild! Use mixed media
Don't be afraid to mix and match media. Use paint, fabric, beads, buttons, ribbons - all on the same canvas!

Trio

If you manage to create one canvas, why not make a trio of canvases to be hung on the wall together? Each canvas should match the other two in terms of colour and style - use a piece of the same fabric on each, for example. The result will be stylish and modern.

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