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As someone who may be new to the world of art, you need to view your paintings as more than just your livelihood. Your artwork is an expression of your creativity and you will want to share it as much as possible. The best way to show and share your work as a painter is on canvas, but not just any canvas. You want a canvas that is the correct format, size, and shape for your painting requirements. Of course, you may wonder, what are standard canvas sizes? Which are the ideal canvas dimensions for your painting? This article will assist you in understanding the world of canvases, and aid you in selecting the best canvas for your needs.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Are Standard Canvas Sizes?
- 2 How to Choose the Right Size of Canvas for Your Artwork
- 3 Other Canvas Shapes and Sizes
- 4 Selecting the Correct Canvas for Your Space
- 5 What Is the Best Canvas Material for Painting?
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Standard Canvas Sizes?
It is okay if your painting’s dimensions do not fit a standardized canvas size. However, you will realize that by using a standard size canvas, you will find more customers who will be eager to have your art piece in their homes.
There is a reason that canvas sizes have been standardized, and that is to simply make it easier for individuals to determine which size will fit their wall space and the dimensions of their rooms.
Understandably, individuals who live in smaller spaces and apartments will need smaller canvases, and the same is true for individuals who live in larger homes. What follows is a canvas sizes chart available for your easy reference.
|Dimensions in Inches||Dimensions in Centimeters||Size|
|4 x 8||10.16 x 20.32||Small|
|5 x 7||12.7 x 17.78||Small|
|8 x 10||20.32 x 25.4||Medium|
|9 x 12||22.86 x 30.48||Medium|
|11 x 14||27.94 x 35.56||Medium|
|12 x 12||30.48 x 30.48||Medium|
|12 x 16||30.48 x 40.64||Medium|
|16 x 20||40.64 x 50.8||Large|
|18 x 24||45.72 x 60.96||Large|
|24 x 24||60.96 x 60.96||Large|
|24 x 30||60.96 x 76.2||Large|
How to Choose the Right Size of Canvas for Your Artwork
The above chart will assist you in selecting the right size of canvas for your paintings. It is important that the canvas you select is the correct size and shape for your planned art pieces. The correct sized canvas ensures that you will not have to crop your image in any way. You also want to ensure that the canvas you are using, will suit the room it will be hung up in.
This article will not only cover the variety of typical canvas sizes available; but will also offer suggestions of where in the home each size canvas will work best. You can use the above canvas sizes chart as a reference.
You should know the room the canvas will be hung up in so that you can be sure to select the right size of the canvas.
Small Canvas Sizes
In terms of small canvases, these are the two standard canvas dimensions:
- 4 x 8 inches (10.16 x 20.32 centimeters)
- 5 x 7 inches (12.7 x 17.78 centimeters)
The above sizes are the dimensions of many greeting cards and postcards. These size canvases are perfect for smaller and more detailed paintings, or if you wish for a single image to stand out on its own. Using these sized canvases means that your paintings can be turned into photographs that can be printed and sold online.
Medium Canvas Sizes
There are more options available of medium-size canvases than there are for small-size ones:
- 8 x 10 inches (20.32 x 25.4 centimeters)
- 9 x 12 inches (22.86 x 30.48 centimeters)
- 11 x 14 inches (27.94 x 35.56 centimeters)
- 12 x 12 inches (30.48 x 30.48 centimeters)
- 12 x 16 inches (30.48 x 40.64 centimeters)
While the majority of these canvases are rectangular, there is also a square option: 12 x 12 inches (30.48 x 30.48 centimeters). This size is also thought of as medium-sized. If there is a gallery wall made up of different size rectangular canvases, you can add an extra level of dimension to the arrangement by adding a square canvas.
The majority of painters who are just starting out find that medium-sized canvases are perfect to start with. You have more space to work on than when you use a small canvas, and the space is not too overwhelming despite its size.
You will also have sufficient space to experiment with an assortment of brush sizes and painting techniques without feeling cramped!
Large Canvas Sizes
A painting done on a large canvas can be the showstopper within a room. It provides a focal point and draws your attention as soon as you enter the room. Large canvases are normally used to paint seascapes and landscapes. The measurements of the standard large canvas sizes are as follows:
- 18 x 24 inches (45.72 x 60.96 centimeters)
- 20 x 24 inches (50.8 x 60.96 centimeters)
- 24 x 36 inches (60.96 x 91.44 centimeters)
- 30 x 40 inches (76.2 x 101.6 centimeters)
- 36 x 48 inches (91.44 x 121.92 centimeters)
When hung on the wall, it is best to not have any other picture hung around them as not to detract from the main painting.
Other Canvas Shapes and Sizes
Canvases are available for purchases in a variety of sizes and shapes in addition to the standard ones we have mentioned. Despite this availability, one must note that these canvases are not as popular. You may, however, have a certain painting in mind that will only work on an unusual sized or shaped canvas, so it might be relevant to take note of them.
Mini canvases are used by artists that require extremely small painting dimensions, such as those artists who paint miniatures. A canvas is thought to be a mini if it is smaller than 4 x 6 inches (10.16 x 15.24 centimeters). You can also buy square mini canvases, where the measurements are normally 2 x 2 inches (5.08 x 5.08 centimeters) or 3 x 3 inches (7.62 x 7.62 centimeters).
If you are looking to display a series of pictures on a similar or even the same topic, then square canvases are quite popular. A well-known example is Andy Warhol’s Shot Marilyns (1964), which encompass four square canvases hung up in a square.
Each canvas is done in a different color and features an image of Marylin Monroe. These canvases are particularly large, each measuring 40 x 40 inches (101.6 x 101.6 centimeters). While you would probably be able to find canvases of a similar size, the more standard square canvas sizes are as follows:
- Mini canvases
- 8 x 8 inches (20.32 x 20.32 centimeters)
- 10 x 10 inches (25.4 x 25.4 centimeters)
- 12 x 12 inches (30.48 x 30.48 centimeters)
- 20 x 20 inches (50.8 x 50.8 centimeters)
Much like rectangular canvases, yet more slender and long, oblong canvases are designed to be mounted either vertically or horizontally. They are normally mounted as triptychs or diptychs. They come in an assortment of sizes that range from as little as 3 x 6 inches (7.62 x 15.24 centimeters) to as huge as 12 x 36 inches (30.48 x 91.44 centimeters).
Custom Sized Canvases
You might have an art project that requires a unique size canvas that is larger than the standard sizes. You can therefore either buy one or you can stretch it yourself to create the shape and size you require. Remember, a custom-sized canvas is normally a lot more expensive than a standard-sized canvas.
Selecting the Correct Canvas for Your Space
As we have illustrated, there are a variety of canvas sizes to choose from. When you have an idea of where in your home you plan to hang the image, it will help you determine the size of canvas you should be working on.
You will also need to consider your painting dimensions when selecting the perfect canvas for yourself.
Mini and Small Canvases
It is understandable that you will not be hanging a mini or small canvas up on its own, particularly not in a larger room such as a bedroom or living room. When canvases are arranged in a group they really pop. For example, they work well above a desk in a home office, or around a mirror in the dining room. They can also be hung above a bookshelf to create a stunning focal point.
What you are looking to create is a collection of mini and small canvases that combine and form a much larger artwork.
Medium and Square Canvases
If you would prefer to create a photo collage on one canvas as opposed to using several small canvases, then your go-to is square canvas sizes. Thanks to the canvases being a standardized size, it is a lot simpler to fit all your images onto without having to crop them.
If you do not necessarily have a large amount of wall space, medium-sized canvases will work well for a bigger picture. If you live in a home that is relatively small and has a staircase, you can form a gallery wall of the square, medium, and small canvases along the wall going up the staircase.
This is a stunning option for you to transform an otherwise peculiar shaped space, and create a visually appealing and gorgeous focal point.
If you have a small apartment, using medium canvases in either your dining room or living room work well. They are also a great option for your guest room or home office. The size of the canvas will not crowd the walls or overwhelm the space.
While no law states you can only hang a large canvas in a big house, the standard large canvases are better suited for big walls where they can hang in all their glory. An art piece such as this should be considered the centerpiece of the room. You can even add your light above the canvas so that it feels like you are in a professional art gallery.
Artwork on this scale can be considered part of the room’s décor, especially if the other furniture has been arranged around it, as opposed to being set up around the television set. There is of course nothing stopping you from hanging your large canvas in the family room, or even in your bedroom.
What Is the Best Canvas Material for Painting?
We have discussed the standard lengths of canvases and where they are best suited to be hung in your home, but we have not yet touched on the material that canvases are made of. Regardless of how stunning your artwork may be, the overall aesthetic will be completely ruined if the material the canvas is made of is of substandard quality. If you are an artist who is new to the world of working on canvas, or you are a professional painter, you will want the perfect canvas to work on.
Canvases are available in an assortment of materials made from synthetic fiber, linen, and cotton. Cotton and linen are the most popular options amongst artists. The reason for this is that these materials are ideal to work on using any painting mediums, such as pastels, oils, and acrylics.
Cotton (also known as duck cotton canvas) is the cheapest option out of the three. You can purchase it in an assortment of weights and weaves, as well as a variety of surfaces, from a very fine surface to a rough weave.
Cotton canvases can handle large sweeping brush strokes and detailed paintings with tiny brush strokes. Linen is a lot stronger than cotton, and is not as stretchy, which makes it more stable. Linen is a far superior product in comparison to synthetic fibers or duck cotton, and therefore costs significantly more.
It all depends on what you need, as you can select anything from canvas that is attached to a panel or rolls of canvas, to canvas that has been stretched on a frame. A lot of artists select canvases on frames as they are simple to work with and are ready to be hung up when you have finished your painting.
Unfortunately, you are unable to alter the size or shape of a canvas and frame. It is due to this that professional artists choose to use canvas rolls that they can shape and determine the size themselves.
In this article, we have provided you with details about the assortment of canvas sizes, shapes, and available materials. With this information, you as the artist will be able to select which canvas is best suited for your requirements, taking the finish you are looking for into consideration. At the end of the day, the choice is up to you! We do suggest that you explore your options and experiment with different shapes and sizes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Best Type of Canvas to Use?
No one type of canvas can be classified as the best, it is all up to you and your personal preference. Your most affordable option is duck cotton canvas, and this makes it the most popular option, especially if you are an artist who is new to the world of painting. As a professional artist, we would recommend you go with a linen canvas. While it is more expensive, the quality you receive is worth the price.
Do Canvases Only Come in Square Shapes?
No! Canvases are also available in oblong or rectangular shapes, and even in unusual shapes such as hearts, triangles, or circles (although these tend to be harder to find). There is an assortment of square sizes available. If you are unable to find the exact size you are looking for, many art stores will cut a canvas to size just for you!
What Are Typical Canvas Sizes?
Canvases are available in a variety of different sizes. Large canvases are between 18 x 24 inches (45.72 x 60.96 centimeters) to 36 x 48 inches (91.44 x 121.92 centimeters) in size. Medium canvases are available in sizes between 8 x 10 inches (20.32 x 25.2 centimeters) and range up to 12 x 16 inches (30.48 x 40.64 centimeters). Finally, the small or mini canvases are available from 4 x 8 inches (10.16 x 20.32 centimeters) and 5 x 7 inches (12.7 x 17.8 centimeters).