Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Art to Painting the Sides of a Canvas

What color should I paint the sides of my canvas? How should I paint them? Should I paint the sides of my canvas?  Do I leave spills or clean them up?

Some artists run into these dilemmas, and ask these questions, typically in the beginning of their art career. Once you have established a painting style it will not even be a second thought with what to do with all that extra white space. As you will see, you can incorporate more than one look into your style. 

Here are some things to consider:

Will your piece of art work be framed?
If it is framed then there really is no need to paint the extra canvas space. 

Do you like uniformity?
Then I would consider painting the sides of all your work either black or white.

The following are some other options and examples: 
You can always choose to 'wrap' the painting around the sides of the canvas. This is the same as 'extending' the picture as shown here in Let There Be Light and Baptism.

You can see the ombre effect on the side  

I went one step further in Bands of Love and used the palette knife to continue the image. Yes, that uses MUCH more paint and adds more time, but this was a special painting for me so there was no holding back.

Use a Background  or Complimentary color:
This is an easy one to apply and I have seen it used often. Take a look at Regret. The background was black so I just continued the color to the sides of the canvas. If I would have opted to go with a complimentary color then I would have chosen either a silver, a dark grey, or a dark purple. 

Contrasting Color
One last color option is to choose a Contrasting Color to paint the sides of your canvas. I see this mostly in whimsical and children's art. But it certainly is not exclusive to them.  

Spills ~ do I clean them?

It depends. If you are painting a modern, or 'clean', painting then you may want to consider wiping up any spills. Also, it may add an interesting contrast to leave it, just a thought. 

Here is a piece that had spills that I chose to leave. Have a look at Heavenly.

If you are an artist then perhaps this has given you some new ideas to try next time you create your next masterpiece. If you are a collector or admirer of art then perhaps this has given you some insight on what an artist experiences while working. 

Please feel free to comment, which look do you prefer?

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