Arts & Entertainment

Working With Canvas


Lesson time 06:33 min

Learn about different types of canvases and find out how to achieve one of Futura’s signature techniques by manipulating the fabric of a canvas.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Selecting Canvas Size


[MUSIC PLAYING] - OK, so we're going to have a quick set up on our canvases here. What is a canvas? What type of canvas? We have some stretched canvases here. We also have some unstretched canvases, which I like to start with. So what's the difference, stretched, unstretched? Well, this is not stretched, i.e. meaning it's not on a frame, it's not on a stretcher bar, it's not on any kind of a chassis. Of course, this would be a classic stretched canvas sold in any art store. Or we could have made this ourself from the primed canvas. Simply create a wooden frame, crossbar, staple, staple, staple. You would have a non-store bought frame, but something you would make yourself obviously. And for many years, when you're at the beginning of it all and you don't have the funds or the resources to buy high end materials from an art store, well, you can buy raw canvas, cheapest. Stretch it yourself. Still cheaper than buying something store bought. And then prime the cameras yourself. So from a real DIY way, anything you see that's kind of traditional and store bought, we can all do this at home as well. So I'm primed, primed. And both canvases have different applications. Unprimed canvas can obviously become primed canvas. Just a question of applying the medium, the primer, the gesso. Or unprimed canvas can be kept as unprimed canvas. I happen to like both. I recently did an exhibition which was primarily on unprimed canvas. And that was a lot about how the effects of spray paint interact with a canvas that's not stretched. A lot of saturation, very wonderful techniques. I want to show you guys something that I used to do, something I learned probably when I was in high school. This can be done with paper, fabric, just about anything, clothing. Almost makes you think of tie-dying, which I guess is where it comes from. So this is a quick little demo. Because I have a can of red paint here, we're going to start with red. So what I've done is, I basically bunched up this material. But what I've done, is I've also created all of these cavities and crevices and chambers. All those folds are going to be wonderful. So I'm going to paint it from this side just like that. And as a result of the way it's folded, and once again, it's totally arbitrary. It's nothing preplanned here. It's just go with it. And this side has been painted red. I'm going to try this and paint the other side black. All right, it's pretty basic, but. So just on the strength of an effect, it's pretty interesting. And believe it or not, this is another accident waiting to happen for me in that I wasn't trying to make a tie-dye anything. I just did what I did there. I bunched up some material and I sprayed it, conscious of knowing if I spray something from one side and I spray something from the other side, you will create this kind of meeting in the middle. And what I love, is the way the shadows of the wh...

About the Instructor

A pioneering painter and street artist, Futura has exhibited at institutions like the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, collaborated with Louis Vuitton and Supreme, and created album art for The Clash. Now he’s teaching you his signature, kinetic approach to abstract art. Learn how to express yourself and paint with color, dimension, and detail. All you need to create art is an idea and a can of spray paint.

Featured MasterClass Instructor


Pioneering abstract graffiti artist, Futura teaches you how to create art with a can of spray paint and an idea.

Explore the Class
Sign Up