Canvas painting has become quite a trend these days, ranging from adult classes down to children’s ones. They are fun, allow you to be very creative & are therapeutic, too! These instructions will show you how to paint one with your kids in an 11” x 14” size, which is perfect for children because it’s not as overwhelming as the larger ones are, especially if they’ve ( or you’ve!) never done one before.
You can copy it to look just like this one, or the second sample, or feel free to get creative! Change the background, make it patterned, do their hair any way you want…etc. That’s the best thing about art – it’s individual & there’s no “wrong” way to do it.
What you will need:
- 1 – 11”x 14” canvas
- 3 brushes – 1 in a ¾” – 1” size, 1 medium size, and 1 very small for detailing
- Acrylic paints: You will for sure need: Black, White, brown and yellow, and from there, decide on your background color. The main one I did is a royal blue background and the other is a teal green. I’ve seen these done in purple, red, and pink and all of those look great! (I also buy these paints from Michaels, the cheap brand they carry are under $1 per bottle and for just a few paintings, you don’t need any larger than that.)
- Water in a cup for washing brushes
- Paper towels
- Paint dish
- Apron and tablecloth if you choose
- And also, another option would be kid’s paintbrush instead of the other large and medium ones (I have shown one in the Crayola type – it’s easier for little hands to hold and has a wide brush on bottom and small on the top)
- And a paint marker in black, this can be handy for doing the outlining and hair type details, and will give you a steady, consistent line if you’re not comfy with painting it with a small brush.(
Michaels, target, Walmart…all carry these).
The first thing you need to do is wipe down your canvas with the alcohol. This will rid it of any grease or dirt that may have gotten on when it was packaged and help the paint stick to the canvas.
Once you have prepped it, you will need to draw the minions on the canvas, at least roughly to give yourself or your child a good outline to go by. This is an important step in the process, so I have taken some measurements in case you are scared of just free handing and copying the photo. Now, technically, this painting can go either way as far as right side up or upside down, but let’s say the minion that is waving is at the bottom to make this easier.
(You want him to be in your left hand corner with about 1.5” between him and the edge of the canvas. He is 3.25” wide and about 9” tall. Draw him like a tube and then just round off his head at the top. It’s up to you if you want to draw the hair on: when the background gets painted, that will get covered up anyway. His glasses would be easiest to get consistent in size if you use a lid or something like a small measuring cup to just lay down on the paper and draw around, but they measure about 2” wide per eye. Then you need to draw a second circle inside the outer one for the rim of the glasses. The eyelids are up to you. This minion has ones that are about halfway down his eye and the other minion has just small ones, but you can change that detail if you choose. Last part of the eyes are the centers, you just need to them in a half circle at the bottom center of the eyelid. The details will get painted on later.
Next, outline his arm. The glove is 5.5” wide and they have 3 fingers, one is more of a fatter thumb and then the 2 fingers. Draw his arm coming down straight out of the glove and it’s about 1” wide.)
Now, turn over your canvas, making that minion upside down and start drawing the second one. This one is easier.
He measures about 4” wide and 6.5” tall. His glasses are larger, and measure 2.5” wide each eye. Draw in his eyes the same way, the eyelid if you choose to keep it the same is just about ¼ of the way down the center circle and across and then the center circle of the eye is all the way around instead of a half circle like the other minion. Last thing he needs is a mouth. It should run into the edge of the canvas. Just draw an arched shape for the top of the smile and the bottom of the smile will run into the edge, so draw it on the bottom edge as well, because you will be painting all the way around the canvas.
Next you will start painting! First, wet your largest brush and then dab on the paper towel. This will help the paint flow without watering it down. Now start on your background color, whichever you chose and paint all the way around each minion, the arm and hand, and fill all the way in, going around the outside edges too. All you need to leave on the outside is where the minion’s bodies overlap. Sometimes certain colors need a second coat, so if you notice the canvas showing through at all, let it dry for a few minutes and then go back and apply another coat. (You can also use a blow dryer to speed up the process, just do it on low setting.)
Next step is to paint a few things white: The inside of each eye, not on the eyelid or the iris, but all around those. And now paint white inside the mouth of the one smiling as well.
Next, paint the minions yellow. Stay inside the lines as best as you can. I like to do the edges that are by the background first, with the smaller brush, and then fill in the middle with the larger to make it go faster. Don’t forget the eyelids and the arm in yellow also!
Now is when the details all start coming together. Paint the glove black first, and then mix a little black with some white, (Be sure to leave yourself some of both of those colors off to the side though, as you will need some of them after this.) making gray for the eyeglasses. Paint the outer circle around the eyes gray to make the glasses.
Next, paint the brown irises. These may need a second coat, as I find brown to always be a little see through on the white canvas. Now you are ready to start the final details. See both final photos for options – the blue one has less outlining and the green is outlined all the way around the minions and eyes to give it a more cartoon feel. You can do it however you choose!
You will want to take your smallest brush (or paint marker) and do the hair, outline the glasses at least a little here and there to make them more 3-d and also the eye. Outline the iris and eyelid. Also you need to do the minions mouths – the one on the left is just a simple, sideways smile. Outline the other minion’s teeth in black and if you want to, draw some teeth too! From here, the rest is more of a personal preference. I like to do a white dotted highlight in the eye as well, which you can see in the blue final one.Add some black or white highlights here and there to add movement and give it a finished look and you are all set! This makes for a great kid’s class, so once you paint one and have a sample to show, set it up and have some kiddos over for a great time!