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The Best Mini Canvas

Last updated on November 1, 2019

We looked at the top 9 Mini Canvases and dug through the reviews from 6 of the most popular review sites including Gist Gear, Goriosi, Review Finch, Sazsy and more. The result is a ranking of the best Mini Canvases.

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Our Picks For The Top Mini Canvases

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

ARTEZA

4" x 4" Mini Stretched Canvas with Easel, 14 ct

Overall Take

Tiny But MightyThe ARTEZA 4" x 4" Mini Stretched Canvas with Easel, 14 ct set contains sturdy canvases that come with their own easel.

Experts Included
DWYM Crafts Experts plus Gist Gear, Goriosi, Sazsy. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Love these little canvases! The shipping was fast, they came secured in a box, like the picture showed, and each one is individually wrapped in shrink wrap. The canvas itself is nice and tight. I used them for quilling but..."
Cons
"The canvas is not pulled tight, it’s loose and buckles inward as you try to paint on it. Cannot paint on these to sell. Cheap."

Artlicious

4" x 4" Canvas Panels, 12 ct

Overall Take

Solid Budget BuyThese Artlicious 4" x 4" Canvas Panels, 12 ct are acid-free canvases that are great for art classes or frequent practice.

Experts Included
DWYM Crafts Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.
  The Best Value

Academy Art Supply

3" x 3" Canvas with Easel, 12 ct

Overall Take

Great For BeginnersThe Academy Art Supply 3" x 3" Canvas with Easel, 12 ct set is a solid buy that will work with multiple paint types.

Experts Included
DWYM Crafts Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.

Meeden

4" x 4" Mini Canvas Panels, 12 ct

Overall Take

Great Gift PanelsThese Meeden 4" x 4" Mini Canvas Panels, 12 ct are workhorse panels that boast exceptional construction.

Experts Included
DWYM Crafts Experts plus Goriosi. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" MEEDEN mini profile canvas panels are well made and economical - perfect for quick studies, miniatures, multiples, crafts, and gifts. These panels feature cotton canvas firmly glued to a 1.5 inch backing, they are ready to be embellished with oils,..."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
16

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the mini canvases available to purchase.
9

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

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6

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Gist Gear, Goriosi, Review Finch and Sazsy.

2,468

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Walmart.

Our experts reviewed the top 9 Mini Canvases and also dug through the reviews from 6 of the most popular review sites including Gist Gear, Goriosi, Review Finch, Sazsy and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Mini Canvases.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

ARTEZA 4″ x 4″ Mini Stretched Canvas with Easel, 14 ct

Our Expert Score
10.0
3 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.9
364 user reviews
Our Take

The pinewood stretchers are especially sturdy on these canvases from Arteza. Each one comes individually shrink-wrapped for maximum protection. This canvas takes paint well from acrylics, oils and a variety of alternative media. During our testing, we found these to be easy to hang on the wall.

What other experts liked
Love these little canvases! The shipping was fast, they came secured in a box, like the picture showed, and each one is individually wrapped in shrink wrap. The canvas itself is nice and tight. I used them for quilling but...
- Gist Gear
August 24, 2019 | Full review
4x4" mini-canvas with easel (Set of 14). 5oz unprimed, 8oz primed with acid-free acrylic gesso. 100% Cotton, Back glued. Pine wood stretcher bars. Ideal for use with acrylics, oils, and other painting media.
- Goriosi
January 13, 2019 | Full review
Love these little canvases! The shipping was fast, they came secured in a box, like the picture showed, and each one is individually wrapped in shrink wrap. The canvas itself is nice and tight. I used them for quilling but...
- Sazsy
What other experts didn't like
The canvas is not pulled tight, it’s loose and buckles inward as you try to paint on it. Cannot paint on these to sell. Cheap.
- Gist Gear
August 24, 2019 | Full review
The canvas is not pulled tight, it’s loose and buckles inward as you try to paint on it. Cannot paint on these to sell. Cheap.
- Sazsy

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Academy Art Supply 3″ x 3″ Canvas with Easel, 12 ct

Expert Summarized Score
0.0
0 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.8
88 user reviews
Our Take

Experiment with multiple paint types on these canvases from Academy Art Supply. They come pre-primed with gesso and are suitable for use with oils or acrylics. Each one is ready to use the moment you open the box.

What other experts liked
What other experts didn't like

Overall Product Rankings

1. ARTEZA 4″ x 4″ Mini Stretched Canvas with Easel, 14 ct

Overall Score: 9.6
Reviews Included: 5

2. Artlicious 4″ x 4″ Canvas Panels, 12 ct

Overall Score: 9.4
Reviews Included: 1

3. Academy Art Supply 3″ x 3″ Canvas with Easel, 12 ct

Overall Score: 9.4
Reviews Included: 1

4. Meeden 4″ x 4″ Mini Canvas Panels, 12 ct

Overall Score: 9.3
Reviews Included: 3

5. FIXSMITH 6″ x 6″ Painting Canvas Panels, 12 ct

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 1

6. US Art Supply 3″ x 3″ Artists Mini Canvas, 12 ct

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 4

7. US Art Supply 3″ x 3″ Mini Professional Canvas, 12 ct

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 3

8. Mont Marte 2″ x 3″ Mini Canvas, 36 ct

Overall Score: 8.0
Reviews Included: 1

9. Tosnail 3″ x 3″ Mini Canvas Panels Set, 12 ct

Overall Score: 7.6
Reviews Included: 1

Our Findings

ARTEZA 4″ x 4″ Mini Stretched Canvas with Easel, 14 ct

What We Liked: The pinewood stretchers are especially sturdy on these canvases from Arteza. Each one comes individually shrink-wrapped for maximum protection. This canvas takes paint well from acrylics, oils and a variety of alternative media. During our testing, we found these to be easy to hang on the wall.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Artlicious 4″ x 4″ Canvas Panels, 12 ct

What We Liked: The cotton duck canvas is a highlight of these panels from Artlicious. The surface is acid-free and will hold acrylics, oils or tempura equally well. This budget model also holds up well to the demands of high-volume painters.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Academy Art Supply 3″ x 3″ Canvas with Easel, 12 ct

Honorable Mention

3"x3" Canvas for Painting with Easel, Academy Art Supplies (12 Pack) (Office Product)


List Price: $14.87 USD
New From: $14.87 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

What We Liked: Experiment with multiple paint types on these canvases from Academy Art Supply. They come pre-primed with gesso and are suitable for use with oils or acrylics. Each one is ready to use the moment you open the box.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Meeden 4″ x 4″ Mini Canvas Panels, 12 ct

What We Liked: Medeen’s Mini Canvas Panels are long-lasting items that make a great impression. They’re petite enough to stand alone unpainted as gifts or conversation pieces, but the acid-free surface also means they hold paint well. Each canvas boasts sturdy construction, with glue holding firmly onto the backing.

Our Expert Consultant

Amy Markham   
Artist and art educator

Artist and educator Amy Markham is the creator of Starling, a podcast dedicated to helping artists develop depth in their creative practice. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, Amy has been an art educator since 2001. Today, she teaches middle school art at a school outside of Memphis, Tennessee. Her personal artwork explores myth-making and symbolic understandings. Through her brand, Starling Creative Living, she leads others to explore art production as a method for enriching their life experience.

Our Mini Canvas Buying Guide

Ask any artist: It can be intimidating, staring down a big, blank canvas. And while wall-size paintings might be what you think of when you picture a professional, working artist, there’s no rule that says a canvas has to adhere to a particular size.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Enter the mini canvas. You’ll find them sold in bulk at most any art supply store, and artists of any level of experience should have a few. Beginners can use them to sharpen their skills and boost their confidence by creating smaller works of art in less time. Established artists might use them to do quick studies, create a series of grouped pieces or distribute them in class for bite-sized lessons.

There’s no set size that’s standard, but the usual rule of thumb is that anything under 4″ x 6″ is a mini canvas. The shape is usually square, or slightly rectangular. The construction of a mini canvas is usually the same as its full-size counterpart: a sheet of specially-woven fabric, stretched tightly over a wooden frame.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Depending on what paints you work with, the material on the business side of the canvas will matter. But for beginners cracking open their first set of acrylics, our resident art expert Amy Markham says you can tell a lot about quality with a quick look at the back.

“No matter the size of the canvas you are buying, if it is stretched you want to make sure it has a sturdy frame,” says Markham, who also teaches middle school art and hosts a creativity podcast. “Also check to see if the canvas is stretched tightly and secured well on the back. Most mini canvases are secured with staples on the back of the frame, so you want to check to see that the material is well secured and that there are no loose areas.”

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Now about the actual canvas itself. These days, canvas is typically woven in single-ply from cotton or linen. Of the two, linen is the higher quality, and you’ll see that reflected in the price. Prior to the 20th century, canvas was made exclusively with linen, which was prized for its ability to hold oil paints. It’s still best for oil today.

Most mini canvases, though, will be made of cotton. That material works just fine for acrylics and properly primed oils and typically stretches better across the frame. Most cotton is plain woven, but you’ll also find the more deluxe duck canvas. No, it’s not made of duck. The word derives from the Dutch doek, meaning “cloth.” Duck canvas boasts a tighter weave, making it sturdier and more able to hold its shape.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Finally, most mini canvases are primed. (In fact, you might have to search harder to find one that’s untreated.) That means they are coated with a layer of that painter’s pal known as gesso. Ingredients vary, but gesso is essentially made from white pigment mixed with some sort of glue or binder. When it coats the canvas, it allows paints to bind more easily, and it’s particularly essential if you’re painting with oils. It also smooths out the surface, masking the texture of the cloth and making it a perfect support for fine lines and brushwork.

DWYM Fun Fact

Canvas may be made from cotton or linen, but that wasn’t always the case. As early as 3,000 B.C., early Chinese people were making a variety of fabrics out of one of the first plants to yield fiber: hemp. Those fabrics eventually included canvas. In fact, the word “canvas” is a derivation of the Latin word “cannabis.” And while the hemp or cannabis plant turned out not to be the ideal foundation for painting, it seems to have found its niche in other areas.

The Mini Canvas Tips and Advice

  • If you’re buying a mini canvas, you usually have a good idea of how you want to display them. But it’s good to give thought to how you’re actually going to paint on them, too. Many mini canvases come with tiny easels that are a perfect fit, allowing you to easily prop up and work on them. And hey, if you’re giving your miniature masterpiece as a gift, they make for a quaint display option as well.
  • Whatever the size of your canvas, you’ll want to pay some attention not just to the length and width of the wooden frame, but the depth. There are two standard thicknesses when it comes to canvas: deep or traditional. Traditional canvas stretchers are about 3/4 inch thick on the sides, which is just about enough for hanging by a nail, or (more ideally) for framing. If you plan on leaving the canvas unframed, consider a deep style. Deep canvas will stand out more boldly on a wall, and you can even paint the sides, incorporating them into the art and adding a 3-D feel.
  • When you’re working on wall art, a mini canvas can be great for playing around with themes. The small size makes them perfect for displaying in groups, arranged in some sort of geometric order. Think patterns for abstracts, alternating colors, comic book panels — anything complimentary that draws the eye into a visual story.
  • To prime or not to prime? If you’re just starting out, bulk packages of mini canvases will make the decision an easy one. Most of them will be primed with a layer of gesso, making them equally receptive to acrylics or oil paints. They also make for a smooth, even painting surface. And while that’s ideal for most, some artists might want a little texture on their art. Just keep in mind that while acrylics will still adhere just fine to untreated canvas, the color might be a bit duller. Oil, however, will need either that gesso layer or a good linen canvas.