Easy DIY: Inspirational Canvas Art

I love words and sayings and inspirational quotes.

The idea for this canvas art project came one day while I was reading my Bible.

By day the Lord commands His steadfast love, at night His song is with me. (Psalms 42:8)

You know those moments when you’re reading scripture and it just melts your heart?  I pictured the Lord, as nurturing as a mother, commanding His love towards me during the day (never giving up on me) and at night singing over me.

I wrote it down and said it over and over trying to memorize it.  I wanted to capture it and not let go.  It painted the most beautiful picture in my head and I suddenly thought, hey…I have this canvas…


To make your own inspirational canvas art, you will need:

  • 30×24 canvas (from craft store)
  • Mixture of paints (I used Amy Howard One Step paint in Good Man, Java, Selznick Grey, Atelier and Ballet White). You can use any variety of chalk or acrylic paint in the colors of your choosing.
  • 2” paint brush
  • Artists brush (or sharpie marker, read instructions below)
  • Tape
  • Transfer paper (from craft store)
  • Dull pencil
  • This printable

I already had a canvas on hand.  It was the victim of a recent art project I decided would have looked great in 1989.  So to reuse, I painted a quick base coat of charcoal grey (Good Man is Hard to Find One Step paint.)


While the charcoal was still drying, I started on the next layer.  I used Java and Selznick Grey and dry brushed over the semi-wet dark grey.


I wanted the canvas to look multi-dimensional (kind of like stone) so I went back and forth between these two colors with my brush and worked them both onto the canvas at the same time.  Using the paint while it’s still wet gives a really neat look.  This is a quick dry brush motion.  Don’t blend too much or you’ll have one muddy color.

The finished product will look something like this:


Because this was going in my bedroom, I held it up against the wall to check the color.  It was kind of dark, so I decided to lighten up the overall look by going over the whole canvas with a wash of Ballet White (a true white, not cream).

A “wash” is nothing but watered down paint.  You can do this by:

-Dipping your paintbrush in water before dipping into the paint or

-Applying the paint and then going back over with just a wet brush

I did both.  See how much lighter it is now?


If you’re using chalk paint, let your canvas dry for about 45 minutes while you print out the quote and cut out the individual words.

I took some time deciding on the lay-out.


In the end, I decided to right justify the text.  I also took time to measure between the letters and rows to make sure everything was lined up correctly. (Randomly cut pieces of paper can trick the eye!)  There was about 3.5″ between the rows.


Once I had everything the way I wanted it, I applied a small piece of tape to each word to hold it in place.


Slide your transfer paper under the quote and using a dull pencil, trace over the letters.



It will look like so!


Once you’ve traced everything, paint over the words using your artist’s brush.  (Note:  Halfway through the painting, I realized a silver sharpie marker might have saved me some time and been easier to use!)  I ended up painting my words in Atelier One Step paint.


And voila! I need to either make or buy a frame, but right now it’s a reminder of who is singing me to sleep…


Love it and want to try something else?  Use this Emily Dickinson quote to make another piece of canvas art for your home!


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