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What Are Canvas Paintings?

Canvas paintings are often confused with regular canvas prints. This, however, has more to do with pure semantics than the visual resemblance. In short, canvas paintings are, in fact, paintings as you know them. Here’s what sets these seemingly similar mediums apart.

Key Points:

The single biggest difference between the two mediums is the fact that canvas paintings are painted by a person straight onto the canvas. This is usually done using either acrylic or oil painting.

“Canvas prints are printed; canvas paintings are painted. Simple as that...”

Meanwhile, canvas prints, as the name already suggests, stand for printed reproductions of existing work, such as photographs or paintings. With that said, both have a common historical origin.

What are canvas paintings. Painting of a woman's face on canvas.

As stretched canvas was introduced as early as the 17th century as a more convenient and cost-effective alternative to the large wooden panels that were previously used as the foundation for paintings, we can safely assume that both canvas painting and canvas print originated from the same source.

Even more, we can say that using stretched canvas for painting was the precursor of the canvas print since multiplication using very rudimentary printing techniques was only introduced with the advent of lithography.

“Thus, canvas painting is effectively the real game changer from the historical perspective.”

If we go even further, we can safely assume that the actual birth of canvas prints (still note the difference between the terms) is closely associated with the introduction of chromolithography. The technique used to mass produce advertising posters eventually morphed into what we know as mass printing services of today.

What are canvas paintings. Photo canvas print with a historical sight.

Thanks to the simple reproduction technology, millions of people can have their fondest memories printed into high-quality wall decor accessories.

“Meanwhile, professional photographers are granted a cost-effective and efficient (from the production point of view) way to print and exhibit their creative output.”

Pretty much everyone’s a winner when it comes to modern canvas printing, as is the case with canvas painting, a medium which allows thousands of people to develop their artistic talent without breaking the bank.

Canvas Painting - The Best Format for Developing Your Artistic Talents

What are canvas paintings. Person painting on a canvas.

While the foundation (the wooden frame and stretched canvas fabric) is pretty much the same, a canvas that’s intended for painting is, by default, a blank one often coming with no gesso layer at all. The only essential difference is the material of the canvas itself.

“Linen canvas is often the preferred and more costly option with cotton being a more wallet-friendly alternative”

The difference between the two, however, often comes down to purely personal preference. Surely, if you pick your cotton canvas at the local dollar store, there’s a certain risk it may come off as under-gessoed, but generally speaking, this shouldn’t be the case. Depending on the vendor, both formats generally have very similar pricing. Not to mention, both also use the same priming, which effectively rules out any comparisons in durability.

As it’s already obvious by now, canvas prints and canvas paintings are intended for entirely different purposes. What is also clear is the fact that both have hugely contributed to making everyday lives more fulfilled, colourful, and exciting, whether because you can indulge in creative exercises in your private studio or print a set of beautiful wedding photos for your living room.

What are canvas paintings. Person holding a photo canvas print.

In the case of the latter, you probably already noticed the little orange button in the lower right corner. If there’s a photo that you’d like to see printed on a high-quality, wallet-friendly canvas, make sure to click it, as thousands of satisfied customers already have!

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