Simple Canvas Paint Ideas

By Nicholas Smith
Abstract art, an easy way
oil on canvas image by Peter Baxter from

Painting helps relieve stress and helps you explore your creative side. You don't need to be a professional painter to get started. If you are a beginning painter, think of easy ideas that you can easily paint. For example, paint an abstract piece of random shapes and colors. Paint spiral shapes. Other simple ideas include a vase of blooming flowers or a bowl of apples and bananas. Acrylic paints are the easiest to use for beginners as they are water-based and dry quickly.

Concentric Rectangles

One of the easiest canvas paint ideas in an abstract piece. There are no formal shapes or sizes. This piece comes together with random bright colors and interesting shapes. First, paint the entire canvas a light color and let it dry. Then, use a bright color and create a large, rectangular shape. The edges should be round. Use other colors to create concentric rectangles inside the large one you painted.

Spiral Shapes

Create a piece that features spiral shapes. First, spray paint a base color on the canvas and allow time for it to dry. Then, choose a color that will stand out from the base color. Paint a large, thick spiral on top of it. Be sure that the spiral color is sufficiently different to give you the best appeal.


Once you are comfortable using your brush, attempt to paint two apples -- a red one and a green one. Be creative when drawing them. For example, make one of the apples green and large, while the second apple is smaller and sits to the right of the larger apple. Or, draw a large apple and paint half of it green and half of it red. This will help you get used to drawing preconceived shapes and filling in parts of your drawing with different colors.

Bowl of Apples and Bananas

Paint a bowl of apples and bananas once you are comfortable with colors and shapes. This canvas painting idea is still simple enough for beginners. Before painting this canvas, sketch the bowl, apples and bananas with a pencil. Because you have more dimensions and shapes, take time to properly shape your bowl and fruit and draw them to scale before painting them.

About the Author

Nicholas Smith has written political articles for, "The Daily Californian" and other publications since 2004. He is a former commissioner with the city of Berkeley, Calif. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of California-Berkeley and a Juris Doctor from St. John's University School of Law.