There are few events more exciting for an artist than receiving new art supplies. And while a set of paints may inspire colorful designs, choosing the right canvas is just as important in creating your work of art. Experienced portrait painters, for instance, may prefer a pre-primed linen canvas that will enhance the luminosity and flow of the paint. Similarly, prolific artists may prefer to purchase canvas rolls and stretch them over frames on their own to cut down on costs.
If you're just delving into the world of painting, however, it's important to understand the different kinds of canvases available so you can choose the kind that will best serve your goals. Firstly, which type of paint do you use? There are a variety of pre-primed canvases made specifically for oil or acrylic use. Additionally, it's helpful to determine what kind of paintings you want to make. If you want to practice different techniques or create several quick pictures, using a canvas pad might be the best option for your wallet. These pads include several canvas sheets that can withstand oil or acrylic, making them ideal for students who want to get acquainted with their brushes and paints before endeavoring a large-scale painting.
Scroll down to see our selection of the best canvases for artists at every skill level.
Searching for the perfect canvas to paint on? Then, check out our selection!
Best Canvases for Beginners
Richeson Cotton Art Panels
Canvas panels are ideal for practicing painting techniques without committing to a full painting. The Richeson Cotton Art Panels come in a variety of sizes and feature a soft tooth finish, making them ideal for oil, acrylic, and other water-based paints. They also come triple-primed with acrylic primer and double-coated with gesso, so you can begin painting straight away.
Fredrix Canvas Pads
Fredrix Canvas Pads provide a sturdy surface for painting in the form of a convenient pad. Each 7 oz. canvas sheet is pre-primed and can be used with any painting medium.
Blick Academic Cotton Canvas
Blick Academic Cotton Canvases are ideal for students who want to paint on a stretched canvas. Available in packs of two, each canvas is triple-coated with acrylic gesso and ready to paint.
The Artist Grid Cotton Canvas
Artists have used the “grid method” to render accurate perspective for centuries. The Artist Grid Cotton Canvas features a triple-primed, unbleached cotton canvas that is printed with blue grid lines, making it easier to transpose sketches and photographs.
Best Professional Grade Canvases
Masterpiece Elite Heavyweight Oil Primed Linen Canvas
If you're a serious oil painter who is searching for a conservator-approved stretched canvas, Masterpiece's Elite Linen Canvases might be just the thing. Each one is custom-made from high-quality Belgian linen that is stretched on solid wood stretcher bars. Your brush will glide over the smooth pre-primed surface.
Museo Linen Canvas
Museo Linen Canvases are a high-quality stretched canvas made specifically for professional artists. It features Claessens 100% linen that is triple-coated with a universal, acid-free gesso and stretched over a lightweight aluminum frame with wood edging.
Caravaggio Raw Linen Canvas Rolls
If you're a prolific painter that knows how to stretch your canvases, purchasing canvas rolls is the more economic choice. Caravaggio Linen Canvas Rolls are milled in Verese, Italy using high-quality raw materials, and they come pre-primed for oil or acrylic paint.