Should You Paint the Edges of Your Canvas? And How to do It Step-by-Step for Beginners
Hi Everyone, I’m Jane and today we’re going to talk about whether or not you should paint the edges of your canvas. And if so, how to do it. This is a question I get asked a lot. And there really is no specific answer. Really, it’s up to you whether you paint the edges of your canvas. Some artists… will wrap the image around the edges. So that it’s a continual piece. When you look at the side you can still see for example on this one you might see some of the reflections and the buildings would continue. For me, that’s just way too much work. I’ve done it before and it’s… it’s not for me. But a lot of artists do that. Some artists never paint the edges of their canvas. So… all of their paintings, look like this on the edge. You can see drips & splatters from the painting that they did. Or it’s just left white. And some artists will paint the edges a solid color afterwards. Either white or black, which is what I typically do, or a color that is prominent in the background. So, again… there is no right & no wrong way to to handle that. It’s really up to you. But… if you decide you want to paint the edges of the canvas… I’m going to show you two ways to do it. First I’m going to show you, the wrong way to do it. Then I’m going to show you the right way to do it. Here’s one of the first work ups that I did of “A Walk in the Rain” And since this one isn’t perfect… You can see the painting behind it… I’m just going to end up painting over this anyway. So, I’m going to show you the wrong way to paint the edge on this canvas. Alright, now regardless of whether or not you’re going to do this the right way or the wrong way… You’re gonna take a brush that you’re comfortable with and I suggest that it has a flat edge across the top. Like the 1 inch background brush. This is typically what I will use. The reason I’m going to use one with a flat edge at the top is because that edge helps us make the line here cleanly. So, I’m gonna wet it in the jar… and wipe it off on the edge. If you need to, dab a little bit of the extra water out on a paper towel, that’s fine. So I’ve got some black paint on my palette here and I’m just going to load up with some. You don’t want globs of it, you wanna be able to control it. Even though we’re doing this the wrong way you still don’t want too much on there. Now, by the wrong way, I mean you don’t want to take the brush like this and just streak down the edge. Because do you see what happens? It’s really hard to control that and it gets on the front of your canvas. Even if try and go really easily like that… If you push too hard, it’s really easy to get a wobbly line that you feel like you have to keep trying to cover up. and getting some on the front edge of the canvas. Even if you do it this way…. it’s easy to lose control… of the shape of your brush… and get it on the front. So that’s what I mean by the wrong way. We don’t do it like this… and we don’t do it like this. Now we’re gonna do it the right way. Notice I’ve got my canvas turned around so the image is actually facing backwards. And that’s because my focus is gonna be on this front line here. I don’t want any paint to go past that line. And so if I look at it from the back I easily control that. And I’m going to use my brush… with the flat edge… and I’m gonna come at it… and put my brush right there so that… the edge is right in line with that. Now… no matter how hard I push it’s not gonna go past that edge. Even if my brush extends past it it’s not going to wrap around onto the front of the canvas. It’s just going… as soon as the canvas starts to curve… the paint is gonna stop. It’s not going to wrap on there. Once you got the line in the front well defined then you can come back to the the back edge… and kinda wipe at it like that. So I’m gonna show you on this top edge here where my canvas has got the white in the front. So again, I’m going to go flat onto the canvas and even that edge can extend past it and I’m just gonna wipe downwards. (lovely sound of paint wiping onto the canvas) (watch Jane make it nice and pretty) Get ya a little bit of a different angle there. See how that line… is nice and smooth… because… That line already exists on the canvas. I’m not trying to draw a line. You can continue all the way down. (lovely music as we watch Jane) (Look at Jane go!!) Once you get to the corners, there’s usually a little bit of a fold there so I’ll take the edge of my brush and just kinda run it along the inside of that fold. Make sure that there’s not a bright white… spot peeking out. And then just rotate my canvas and keep going. So there’s my painting, with the edges all painted. And it only took me… maybe about 5 minutes to do and I didn’t have to do any cleanup. I hope that helped answer your question about painting the edges. If you have any other questions please leave me a comment below and let me know and I’ll see if I can get to those for you. Make sure you like, comment and subscribe I do have a video coming out a little bit later about varnishing a canvas and I’m going to use this exact painting in that varnish video. So thanks for watching everyone and I’ll see you next time!