View Full Version : Do You Paint The Canvas Edge?

07-21-2008, 02:46 PM
I am just getting into Acrylics from Pencil, Colored Pencil, and a bit of watercolor. I love the detail I can do with acrylics. I don't have any of my previous work framed , even though I am told it is saleable. (except for a couple that other people framed after I gave them to them) Framing is too expensive for my budget and I don't have the room to do it myself. I am going to try canvas alone. For future saleability is it better to paint the edges all the way to the back, or leave them white? Any tips for this next step in my art will be appreciated.

07-21-2008, 02:50 PM
Paint 'em!

07-21-2008, 02:58 PM
Should I extend the scene around the corners or just the basic or complimentary background? For instance if I have a tree on the right as an eye stopper, should I bring branches and leaves around? Sky and clouds ????

07-21-2008, 03:06 PM
I have seen it done both ways....and I have done it both ways. I would say go with what you are comfortable with. But that is just me. I would at least go with a color from the pallette you used on the painting.

07-21-2008, 03:27 PM
You can do it either way. I paint mine white. As long as it looks finished one way or another you'll be fine. :) So if you do want to leave them blank/white I'd recommend cleaning up the sides with gesso once you're done painting.


07-21-2008, 03:35 PM
Thanks for the input.
I would think that if one were going to do a vignette of some sort and leave the edges white that it would be best to pick a very thin canvas, and if it is a full landscape and you want to paint the sides into the picture that you would want a thick edge. Am I thinking correctly on this thought? I'm excited!!!. :clap: I can finally see a way to get my work displayed at a cost I can afford.

chammi kaiser
07-21-2008, 04:40 PM
Hi there. I always paint the edges and continue with the scene - not in any great detail but certainly following the colours and shapes. I use a wide edged canvas. Canvas board is not very expensive and then can be framed in the normal way. The edges would not then be seen. Wonderful that you are excited and ready to go!!! Looking forward to seeing your work.

07-21-2008, 05:20 PM
I too always paint around the edges and continue the scene!:)

07-21-2008, 05:25 PM
I would think a smart thing might be to always paint the edge. Then if someone said "I really like your work, but not with the painted edge!" One could always break open the Gesso and unpaint it. :lol:

07-23-2008, 12:12 AM
My personal preference is to paint the edges, continuing the scene. If, for some reason, I decide NOT to do that, I still paint the edges in one of the colors from the pallette I used on the painting.

I think it's a personal thing that everyone needs to decide on themselves.


07-23-2008, 12:45 AM
I agree with making it look "finished" whatever that means. I've done all of the above... paint edges black, white (gesso), choose a dark color from the painting, choose a contrast or highlight color, continue the scene...

Whatever it takes to make the work look "finished" when someone hangs it.

07-23-2008, 01:20 AM
I paint it all the way around, even traditional to-be-framed canvases. I started doing this when I did a commission and it was to be a surprise. It gave them the opportunity to hang it right then and there (just plopped on a nail) and enjoy it and get it framed later if they wanted to do so. I painted the theme around the edges. Some will paint it black.

07-23-2008, 04:04 AM
Galleries in OZ have advised me to leave the gallery wrapped canvas unframed, they say so often people want their own choice of frame to tie in with their decor, also it keeps the cost down for the artist and purchaser, who can have the choice to frame or not.
I always continue a scene around the sides if possible or paint in a toning colour.

07-23-2008, 04:14 AM
I also continue with the scene around the edges of my canvas. If a person I give a painting to can't afford a frame they can still hang.

07-23-2008, 04:48 AM
The canvas looks so much neater when the edges are painted.
If you are selling to a specific buyer or gallery, it is best to ask if they prefer the edges painted (generally speaking, they do).

07-23-2008, 10:12 AM
I paint mine all around. Most of them, I just continue the scene, but I have recently resurrected (and sold) some earlier paintings that were left with unpainted edges, so for those I just painted the edges a compatible color and called it good. I think either way gives them a nice finished look that you don't have when the edges are slopped with various colors the way mine are (I've never been called a neat painter!).