Art Canvas Sizes: What Should I Use and Why?

Artists have been using canvases to create their masterpieces for centuries. In the beginning, they were made from animal skins and stretched on a frame. Today, there are many options available when it comes to choosing art canvas sizes for your artwork; however, not all of them will work well with certain types of paintings.

In this article we’ll help you choose what size is right for you and your project by discussing:

  • Why do different canvas sizes matter?
  • What size should I pick if I want my painting to last as long as possible?
  • How can I make sure that my painting isn’t too big or too small?

When selecting an art canvas size for your project, there are a number of factors to consider before you make the decision. We will cover all the basics so that you can choose wisely and get what you need!

Why Using Standard Canvas Sizes Is Important in Painting

There’s no right or wrong art canvas size for your painting; however, using standard options can make things easier on everyone involved (the artist like you, but also galleries that might want to purchase your paintings).

Canvas sizes are essential for your painting because they affect the way it looks. The size of a canvas can make or break an artwork, so you must know what to look out for before making a final decision.

Most artists will use common sizes in their work. These are the most popular canvas dimensions and they tend to be what consumers need when it comes to framing, so you’ll find these in many stores.

How to Select a Canvas Size that Fits the Proportions of Your Image

When it comes to choosing art canvas sizes, there are two important aspects you should pay attention to the ratio between length and width, as well as the proportion of objects in your painting.

The most common aspect ratios used by artists are either four-to-three (most computer monitors) or three-to-two (like television sets). These proportions allow enough space for key elements including faces, light sources in landscapes, etc., without cropping them too much when displayed.

The proportion of objects in an image also matters for selecting art canvas sizes.

You have probably seen paintings with figures that seem way too big next to mountains and trees. While this might look great on some canvases, it can be a problem if trying to use other options!

The same goes for landscapes where there’s very little going on right at the bottom of the frame – these usually need larger canvases so people don’t get bored looking at nothing but a blank space.

Canvas Sizes Chart

An easy way to make sure your painting looks right is by sticking with the standard sizes. Since these are used most often, you can be confident that they’ll fit in any frame without issue (and people will know exactly what size it should be).

Below is a chart of common art canvas dimensions which includes measurements; feel free to use them as guidelines or search around online for more options!

What are Typical Canvas Sizes?

Rectangular art canvas sizes have been around even longer than square ones, so they’ve become one of the more common types as well.

There are many different art canvas sizes cm out there; let’s take a look at some of the most popular ones.

Common Large Canvas Sizes

24 x 30 inches (60,96 x 76,2 cm)

This art canvas size is perfect for paintings with landscape and nature themes because there’s plenty of space on all sides and at the bottom of the frame.

24 x 24 inches (60,96 x 60,96 cm)

This is another large-sized canvas that’s very common because it offers lots to work with! The dimensions – width and height – both measure exactly 24 inches each. Square canvas sizes make it very convenient to display paintings quickly without cropping important parts out!

18 x 24 inches (45,72 x 60,96 cm)

This is another common art canvas size that can work well for landscapes or other paintings where less action takes place in the bottom part of the frame since there won’t be anything important displayed there anyway. The three-to-two proportion means this option will look good on almost any wall without cropping key details out of your painting!

Common Medium Canvas Sizes

16 x 20 inches (40,64 x 50,8 cm)

This art canvas size is perfect for regular paintings since it’s portable and easy to display practically anywhere while still looking attractive! It offers a blend of comfort and space that allows your painting to be the center of attention without taking over the entire room.

12 x 16 inches (30,48 x 40,64 cm)

This is a very popular art canvas size for smaller paintings – if your painting looks tiny on this option, it’s definitely too small!

The three-to-four proportion means it will look good in most homes and businesses without cropping important details or making the artwork appear larger than life.

11 x 14 inches (27,94 x 35,56 cm)

This is an extremely popular choice among artists who want small but vibrant canvases – because there’s so little room in this frame, every single part has to be absolutely perfect!

It’s also an ideal option if you want your painting to last as long as possible – larger canvases tend not to be as durable as smaller ones since they can warp more easily!

Common Small Canvas Sizes

12 x 12 inches (30,48 x 30,48 cm)

This art canvas size is a great choice for smaller paintings where detail and color are key! The square shape of this option makes it very easy to display on any wall, while still looking attractive from short distances away.

If you paint tiny portraits or detailed studies that don’t need much space around them, choose the 30 cm option – it’s excellent for showing off your work without making people feel overwhelmed by its sheer size!

9 x 12 inches (22,86 x 30,48 cm)

This is an extremely popular choice among artists who want small but vibrant canvases – because there’s so little room in this frame, every single part has to be absolutely perfect! This is especially true for close-up studies where the artist needs to convey a lot of feeling and detail through very little space.

The three-to-four proportion fits comfortably on any wall!

8 x 10 inches (20,32 x 25,4 cm)

If you paint tiny portraits with lots of details, this is another wonderful choice. They’re perfect if your paintings contain intricate landscapes close-up studies where every single brushstroke is important! They’re easy to display on short notice without cropping parts out or making paintings look larger than life.

What to Consider When Selecting the Right Canvas Size?

There are many factors to consider when choosing the best art canvas size for your painting!

Canvas Aspect Ratio

You need to consider the aspect ratio of your painting when choosing a canvas size.

The best way to choose is by using an online preview system where you can resize any image to see what it would look like on these art canvases; if you want something wider than it is tall, then three-to-two ratios work well; if you want taller but not as wide, then go with two-to-one or one point five to one instead!

Canvas Material

The material of the canvas you choose also needs to be taken into consideration! If an artist is experienced, they can use any type of surface – paper or wood panels included – but there are specific kinds that work better than others in some cases.

Heavyweight Cotton Duck

This is the most common fabric used for oil paintings because it’s affordable and reliable, making it easy to stretch onto a wooden frame without too much hassle if necessary!

It has a very smooth texture which allows paint layers to blend together well; this makes it easier for artists with little experience like students who often struggle with blending colors correctly.

The weight means they’re sturdy enough not only to hang on your wall but also withstand humidity changes over time!

Muslin Canvas

This is a similar type of fabric to heavyweight cotton duck because it’s very smooth and durable, which makes them great for large paintings that need stability. They’re an appropriate choice if you don’t want the thickness of other types like linen or heavyweight cotton duck.

Another reason why many artists choose muslins over these other choices is their lower price tag!

However, this material isn’t as absorbent so paint layers might not blend together well depending on how much medium was used in each layer; note there are different weights so while some work better than others with certain art techniques, this one tends to be more suited towards oil painting rather than acrylics or watercolors.

Linen Canvas

This is the most expensive type of fabric used for paintings because it’s extremely absorbent, which means that paint layers can blend together very easily. This also makes them great for artists who enjoy using dry media like pastels or charcoal!

However, this comes at a cost since they’re not as durable and might need special care when storing to avoid creases!

Canvas Weight

The weight of the canvas is also important! These art canvases are up to four millimeters thick and there’s a range in weights depending on what type you select; heavyweight cotton duck is between 300g/m² and 500g/m² while muslins tend to be lighter at around 140-280 g/m².

Stretched Canvas vs. Canvas Panels

Artists can also choose between stretched canvases and canvas panels.

Stretched canvases are typically made with either heavyweight cotton duck or muslin fabric stretched over wooden stretcher bars; these have the advantage of being very easy for beginners since all they need is a staple gun! They’re durable, affordable, and great for hanging on walls!

Canvas panels instead tend to be more expensive because they’re thicker than lightweight options like this one. These paintings are usually applied directly onto surfaces that are mounted on Aluminium support which means there’s no risk of warping or cracking even if humidity changes drastically — perfect if you live in a house prone to moisture!


Will you be framing it? If so, how will you go about doing that?

Framing is known to add anywhere from 5 cm all the way up to 15 cm in width and height; however, most people don’t always frame their paintings because it’s an extra cost they’d rather avoid.

This makes selecting a specific aspect ratio much easier if you never intend on framing your artwork – no matter what size or medium used, there’ll only ever be one possible option available!

Choosing Your Space

This is something else you’ll want to keep in mind when deciding on canvas size because selecting this isn’t always as simple as just finding the perfect height and width for whatever size paintings are being made.

You might have some odd variables like windows, doors, skylights, etcetera – none of which would look quite right when framed but still take up any sort of extra space along with other art projects.

If so, choosing custom-sized canvases over pre-sized ones can help avoid these problems altogether since they’re made to whatever exact measurements you need!


How much are you willing to spend on a new piece? While art canvases aren’t always expensive, in most cases they’re not cheap either. Fortunately, there’s a wide range of price points out there so if your budget is tight, it doesn’t mean that you have to miss out!

For example, canvas panels tend to be cheaper than stretched options but this isn’t the case for every type – weight plays an important role here too since lightweight items like muslins can also cost more depending on what artistic material was used and how thick it ended up being during production; while all types will probably need stretching even if only slightly, extremely high-quality pieces might end up needing no additional support whatsoever.


In the end, there are a lot of different factors that have to be taken into account when selecting an art canvas size for any painting – but don’t let this discourage anyone from getting started with their new hobby.

Whether it’s something simple like taking photos on your phone and printing them out or going all in by using some more expensive equipment, all that really matters is how much time and effort one puts into creating artwork they can proudly display either at home, work, school, etcetera.

Just remember: if you’re ever unsure about what aspect ratio might look best then custom canvases will always give people everything they could possibly want without having to worry about anything else.

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