Mini Canvas Painting for Beginners: Small Canvas Painting

A mini canvas painting is a great choice to maximise your personalised art jamming experience. It is perfect for beginners and great way to start your art journey
Besides,doesn’t everything look cuter, fun sized and in the palm of your hands?

This week, Artist Celine Chia shares more about the mini canvas painting for beginners and how one can start their own painting for a small canvas.

To start off, if you have no experience in painting, Artist Celine Chia recommends sketching a rough sketch onto a piece of rough paper before transferring the sketch onto the mini canvas.

Materials needed:

Mini canvas

Sharp-tipped Brushes

Acrylic Paints (white, dark yellow, light yellow, light orange, baby blue, royal blue, phthalo blue, viridian green and black)

Mini canvas painting for beginners - starry night by artist celine chia, 2020
Mini Van Gogh Starry Night by Artist Celine Chia, 2020, Acrylic

The following are the steps to paint your own mini canvas:

Starry Night Mini Canvas- step 1, draw the flame.
Step 1: Draw the ‘Flame’

Firstly, start off with drawing the ‘flame’. Take note of the asymmetrical proportions and be mindful not to over extend the shape and boundaries of the ‘flame’.

Starry Night Mini Canvas- step 2, add buildings and hills
Step 2: Add buildings/houses & Hill

Secondly, sketch out the houses and hills. There is no need to focus on the details, just a rough sketch will do.

Starry Night Mini Canvas- step 3, Add the stars
Step 3: Add the Stars

Thirdly, add in the stars (circles). Take into account the size of the canvas, in this case about 6-7 stars is sufficient. 

Starry Night Mini Canvas- step 4, Sketch the skyline.
Step 4: Sketch the Skyline

After sketching in the stars, next we focus on the swirl (skyline). Try to achieve an ‘S’ like swirl when sketching. This is because we are mimicking Van Gogh’s style.

Starry Night Mini Canvas- step 5, colour the stars
Step 5: Add in Colours for the stars

After you’re done with the sketch, we can start painting the mini canvas! We first start by colouring the stars. Make circular motions (strokes) with white paint. This is the middle/base of the stars. Following that, we use light yellow to shade around the diameter of the white circles. This is followed by using orange on top of the light yellow layer. One important thing to take note of is not to blend all the colours together, and ensure that the stroking effects are prominent enough to be seen.

Starry Night Mini Canvas- step 6, colour the swirl
Step 6: Colour the swirl

When you’re done with the stars, the next step is to focus on the sky scape (swirl). For this step, we use white and light blue to paint over the marking that we did previously in step 4.

Starry Night Mini Canvas- step 7, Add royal Blue
Step 7: Add Royal Blue

Fill the sides (away from the swirl) with royal blue. For the areas around the stars, take note to paint in a circular motion. This helps to integrate the colours nicely instead of having another distinct layer.

Starry Night Mini Canvas- step 8, Add phthalo blue
Step 8: Add Phthalo Blue

Add phthalo blue as another layer on top of the royal blue, and focus on applying this colour on the edges, with random strokes in the middle.

Starry Night Mini Canvas- step 9, Adding viridian green and white
Step 9:Add Viridian Green and White

After you are done with the sky scape, the next step places emphasis on the fields. Here, we use Viridian green and some white to highlight the landscape.

Starry Night Mini Canvas- step 10, colour the houses
Step 10: Colour the houses

After we are done with the fields, the buildings are a blend of different colours. Add your own unique twist to it! In this case we use a blend of orange, green and yellow to achieve the effects. Stroke the buildings in horizontal and vertical strokes. No need to go into details, as long as the rough shape and colour of the buildings can be observed.

Starry Night Mini Canvas- step 11, colour the flame.
Step 11: Colour the ‘Flame’

Last but not least, we fill the ‘flame’ with black and add orange streaks to brighten up the canvas.

For the edges of the canvas, you can either paint it black or blue if you do not wish to fill it with strokes.

The following are some works of art by students of Artist Celine Chia:


Artist Celine Chia's students - A rendition of Starry Night by Zoey (leftmost canvas, 8 years old) and Yara (rightmost canvas, 5 years old)

A rendition of Starry Night by Zoey (leftmost canvas, 8 years old) and Yara (rightmost canvas, 5 years old)

And there you have it, a guide to mini canvas painting for beginners! Although the canvas is small, it still takes time and patience to achieve the desired effects. You will need to sit down and pan out your strokes to make your mini canvas a success. 

Need some assistance on small canvas painting? Or do you wanna get started on your very own mini canvas painting? Sign up for our mini canvas painting workshop today!

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