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How to Paint a Poem on Canvas

Write the text using a sharp-edge paint brush.
Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images

Painting a poem on canvas is an imaginative way to combine painting and literature, while creating a decorative piece for your home. When painting a poem on canvas, you can create a painting inspired from the poem's theme or include a few verses in your painting. You can also make an abstract composition under the influence of the poem. Opt for acrylic colors, which dry faster, are diluted with water and don't involve the use of toxic solvents.

Things You'll Need:

  • Sketch Pad And Pencil
  • Stencil (Optional)
  • Paint Brushes (Different Sizes)
  • Rag
  • Color Palette
  • Water Bowl
  • Paints

Sketch your painting and establish if you want to create a figurative or abstract composition. As a beginner, it's easier if you opt for an abstract composition that contains a few verses or words from the poem. Decide on a color scheme for the painting. Establish the location for the verses of the poem and whether you want to include additional compositional elements such as circles, lines, triangles or other geometrical figures.

Sketch the main elements of the composition on the canvas with a pencil. Cover the sketch with colors, which will be the background for the poem. Use a wide paintbrush to cover large areas of the painting and smaller brushes for details.

Paint the compositional elements on your canvas. You can drip paint, or use a sponge or a palette knife to create different textures on the painting.

Allow the background to dry. Acrylic paints dry quickly, while if you choose oil colors, they may take up to six months to dry completely.

Choose a small paint brush with a sharp edge to write the words or verses from the poem. Opt for a color that contrasts with the background, so that the words are visible. You can choose to include a significant part of the poem or select a few key words and paint these.

Load the paintbrush with color and write a few letters at a time. Pick up more color to continue.


Writing with a paint brush on canvas is different from writing on paper, so practice before you start your painting. Use a pencil to write your text on the canvas. The pencil marks won't be visible, because you will cover them with paint. The poem or the verses you choose to paint can take up a smaller or larger space on your painting, depending on what other elements you use. Make the initial letter or the first word in the poem slightly larger than the rest of the writing.

Use stencils for the letters in the poem. Tape the stencil to the canvas and apply paint. Clean the stencil after each use, so you won't smudge the painting. If the writing is horizontal, place some vertical elements to create balance in your composition.

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