Can you use Sharpie on canvas fabric?

Art used to be almost like a science only a few privileged people could perform. In the Renaissance times, rich families supported local artists by becoming their “patrons” and paid for their paintings and sculptures.

Da Vinci, Botticelli and Michelangelo were some of these famous artists who learnt the secrets of art from their teachers and painted family portraits on commission. Nowadays, however, anyone can be an artist!

There are hundreds of materials you can choose from. Some of them require using complex techniques and tools, while you can find some others within your own home.

For example, you can draw with a Sharpie on canvas to make a piece of art you can hang on your hallway!

1Sharpie on canvas

Art materials through history

As we said before, the artistic movements were completely different centuries ago. Painters got pigments from natural sources, such as flower, stones or even some animals. For example, ink was collected from octopi and squids.

The most expensive pigment was purple, as it was extracted from a certain type of mollusk that was specially treated to obtain the color.

It was so hard to get that it became the symbol of royalty in some ancient empires, as they were the only ones who could afford paying such material.

Currently, most pigments are synthetically made, and they can all be achieved in a paint factory, which has allowed people to pay a few dollars for a bottle of acrylic paint that can be used on almost every surface.

That’s why art is not valuable for the materials used in its making, but for the result the artist can achieve.

What makes art valuable?

In the past, only royals and noble families could afford having a portrait painted. It was extremely expensive and they would fight over who hired the best artist.

Paintings were so important because photography didn’t exist by the time, so art was the only way people could keep the memory of a landscape, an important event, or a family member who passed away.

The most praised artists were those who could resemble reality best.

When photography was invented and popularized, paint lost its “magic” as a form of representing reality, so artists had to find other ways so that it could survive.

Although we’re still impressed with artists who can paint something and make it look real, the most popular ones are those who have the creativity to make something new and attractive, in spite of the materials or the techniques used.

Modern and contemporary art is not about representing reality as it is, but conveying a message.

Famous artists are not well-known because they can make their paintings look like photography, but because they are able to portray an underlying message.

That’s why, in modern art museums, you probably won’t see hyper realistic works, but rather colorful, abstract, and chaotic pieces. 

Who are some of the most important artists at the moment?

Have you ever heard of Banksy? He is known as “the prankster”. He makes paintings that resemble graffiti, and he has become famous not so much for his paintings themselves, but for the way he exposes them.

Once, he sold his paintings in a street stand for about 70 cents, without people knowing they were really his pieces worth of thousands of dollars. His most well-known painting is a simple little girl with in a balloon, sold in an auction.

As soon as someone won the bid, a paper shredder was activated in the bottom of its frame and the painting got halfway destroyed. Far from losing value, this painting gained even more, as that prank is the very essence of this artist

But what do we mean with all this? That you don’t need to use awesome or expensive materials to be a good artist! One of the most common options you can find is painting with a Sharpie on canvas.

What pieces can you create with a Sharpie on canvas?

Sharpie pens

Depending on the kind of piece that you want to craft, you will need different types of Sharpies.

For what kinds of work can you use markers on canvas?

  • T-shirts with custom designs
  • Homemade pillows and cushions
  • Pictures to hang on your walls

If you want to make a T-shirt to wear later, you will need to use long-lasting, permanent markers. Washing the T-shirt will test the design’s resistance, so you need to make sure the ink you are using to draw on the fabric is strong enough to endure laundry.

We recommend using alcohol-based markers for this purpose, and we suggest testing the markers on a small piece of cloth and washing before embarking on a big project of a whole T-shirt.

You can also use paint markers on canvas. These look like regular markers, but instead of ink, they contain acrylic paint. They are great because they are versatile and will allow you to paint on almost any surface as though you were drawing on paper.

They are a lot easier to use than ordinary brush and paint. Besides, they can last for long. Calculating how much paint you need to pour out of the bottle can be tricky.

If you put too much, you’ll waste it, but if you don’t put enough, you might get an even result, especially if you are mixing your own shades.

With paint markers, this doesn’t happen, as you only need to remove the cap off the marker and put it back on when you are finished.

If you want to make a decorative picture for you wall, you can use virtually any kind of marker!

There are no specific canvas marker pens on canvas in this case, because this is a kind of craft that doesn’t require washing. That’s why you can use paint markers, permanent ink markers or even pastel highlighters! The possibilities are unlimited here.

In conclusion, remember: the materials don’t make the artist. You can use any kind of material and achieve great results anyway!

You can also see this article about Kumo shibori and other Japanese tie-dye techniques, by clicking here