Canvas Spray Paint Art for Beginners: Techniques and Ideas

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While on vacation in New York City, I was able to enjoy a lot of street performances and watch street artists at work. Some of these artists worked with spray paint, and it was pretty amazing to watch!

I couldn’t get over how detailed their art was, considering they were only using spray paint. Spray paint art is very interesting and exciting, and something that I have a keen interest in.

We have all seen graffiti painted with spray paint, but there is so much more to spray paint art than this. Many fun and interesting techniques are incorporated into this type of painting.

One of the great things about spray paint art is that you can create something magical in less than half an hour! This is not only a great art medium for adults, but for kids as well.

In this post, we are going to talk about spray paint art, the tools you need to do it, and some of the techniques that are used.

Keep reading to learn more.

What is Spray Paint Art?

Spray paint art is completely different from graffiti. This type of art won’t be found on walls and trains.

Instead, most spray paint art is created on canvases, poster boards, and even heavy paper. It can be framed and displayed for the art that it truly is.

One of the great things about spray paint art is that it is so easy to do. Even if you have no artistic training, you can jump right into creating with spray paint.

No brushes are used, and you don’t need anything except for various colors of spray paint and something to paint on (plus a few unconventional tools we will discuss later in this post).

Spray paint goes on smoothly, and often gives coats that are more even than those painted with brushes. There is also less clean-up involved with spray paint art. This is probably one of the main reasons why so many people can take to the streets to demonstrate their skills.

Spray Paint Art on Canvas Techniques

Just because spray paint art doesn’t involve brushes or other art tools, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t fun and creative.

Several techniques can be used to make spray paint art look like art made from traditional mediums, such as oils and acrylics.

Let’s take a look at some of the many techniques that are used in spray paint art.

#1. Creating Textures with Paper and Plastic

You might think that there wouldn’t be a lot of texture in a painting that was created with spray paint. You might be surprised to learn that there are ways to add texture to these paintings.

For instance, you can use white branded spray paint with a bit of black paint on top to create a textured appearance.

You can also use plastic bags and paper to create texture. Let’s say you start with the black over white. You can place a plastic bag on top of the black paint, and press it against the paint. When you lift the bag away, it leaves texture on the surface of the painting.

You can also do this with paper that has been crumpled. Just like with plastic bags, you simply press the crumpled paper onto the paint and lift it off, leaving behind some texture.

#2. Use Pot Lids to Create Planets

Spray paint on canvas is ideal for painting galaxy scenes. There are a few steps involved in this process, but it only takes a few minutes to create a galaxy with several planets.

For this technique, you will need a few different colors of spray paint. Spray areas of the canvas or paper with these colors.

Then, place some pot lids of varying sizes in various locations on the canvas. Spray the entire surface with black or dark blue paint.

Lift the pot lids, and you have a bunch of planets in a variety of colors. All that is left to do is add a few stars by using a toothbrush to sprinkle dots of white paint all over the painting.

#3. Use Three Colors to Create Beautiful Sunsets

You can use red, orange, and yellow spray paint to create amazing sunset scenes. This is a technique you will find many spray paint artists using.

Before trying this on a canvas, I suggest playing around with these three colors to see how they mix together. Once you get the hang of it, then you can start working on your sunset masterpiece.

Make the painting really stand out by adding a bit of white to the horizon line. You can also use black paint to create silhouettes of trees, buildings, people, etc.

#4. Create Scenes with Fog and Clouds

Fog and clouds are easy to create with spray paint. First, paint the canvas or paper with black spray paint.

The next step will be to streak a glossy white spray paint across the black background, using one or two coats. This is something you will want to play around with until you get the effect you are looking for.

You can use this same technique to create clouds. Draw cloud shapes on some poster board and cut them out so you have stencils to work with.

Place the stencils on top of the painted canvas, and use the white glossy paint as you would if you were creating fog. That’s all there is to creating clouds with spray paint.

#5. Use Spray Paint and a Putty Knife to Create Water Scenes

Another easy painting you can do with spray paint is a water scene. It doesn’t matter if you want to paint a river or an ocean. Both will come to life with spray paint.

Once you have painted an area that has water, it is time to dig in with the putty knife. You will need to jiggle it back and forth on the wet paint. This is going to create ripples in the water.

spray paint on canvas

Easy Canvas Spray Paint Ideas You Can Try

Here are some inspiring spray paint ideas for canvas:

Abstract Quote Canvas

Stencil a meaningful quote onto tape, adhere it to the canvas, and paint over with vibrant strokes for a captivating message.


Start with a gold metallic base, then use painter’s tape to create a burst of sunshine and spray paint over it with another color of your choice.

Branch Silhouette

Spray paint the canvas black, arrange branches in your desired pattern, and spray paint over them with white (or any other color) to create a striking silhouette.

Check more painting ideas on black canvas you can try.

Splash Art

Create a solid-colored base on the canvas and then splatter vibrant paint across the surface for a dynamic and energetic effect.

Pixel Painting

Design a pixelated pattern by creating a grid of colors in the same hue, painting each square with a slightly different tone for a unique and eye-catching composition.


These are just a few of the many techniques you can use to create a work of art with spray paint. One of the things I like about this medium is that you can let your imagination run wild.

You can also have fun playing around with unconventional tools when doing spray paint art. Give it a try, and see how much fun you can have with a few cans of spray paint and a canvas.

Also check my guide on paint pouring techniques for more ways to create awesome artwork.

*image by Krakenimages/depositphotos