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Photo to Canvas Painting

How to put a photo to canvas | easy art idea

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to attend the launch of HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams paint at Lowe’s. I was excited to see a few of my favorites coming together to make beautiful colors and fabulous paints easily accessible. I was also excited to meet Jillian Harris and see how she and her team created beautiful rooms that reflected some of the many color palettes available exclusively at Lowe’s. Each color stands gracefully on it’s own, but the palette collectively creates a stunning rainbow. It reminded me of our visit to Carmel just the week before, where between sunrise and sunset, we experienced a complete color palette. In effort to relax and enjoy our vacation in Carmel, I rarely traveled with my camera. I captured a few iPhone photos, but nothing frame-worthy.

HGTV Jillian Harris and home blogger Julie Blanner

When we travel, we try to take home a keepsake that we can integrate into the decor of our home. We searched an array of galleries while in Carmel for an oil painting for our living room, but none seemed to fit our budget and color palette. Recalling the HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams colors, I decided to attempt taking my photo to canvas, painting a canvas of my own. I enlisted Chris’ help so that I could take a few photographs along the way. We interpreted the photograph in colors that relate well in our home. I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to loosely interpret one of my iPhone photos into a canvas painting I was anxious to display in our home. I am anything but an artist and haven’t lifted an artist’s paint brush in years.


I selected pure silk for the sheep, crescent blue, tidewater and downy for the sky, ryegrass seed, mountain moss and gritsmill greige the pasture.

Original photo: IMG_8829

Cropped photo:

IMG_8829 copy

To create your own canvas painting you’ll need:

a print out or full page view on your computer of your image

paint brushes

a variety of paint colors

water {I love using this when the girls’ are doing art as well}



Step-by-step details:

  1. Sketch your main details. For our landscape painting, it was the horizon lines. How to put a photo to canvas | easy art idea
  2. Start by painting your main area the most dominant color. Allow it to dry. How to put a photo to canvas | easy art idea
  3. Proceed to painting your second primary area, again in the most dominant color. Allow it to dry. How to put a photo to canvas | easy art idea
    How to put a photo to canvas | easy art idea
  4. Begin painting the details in your main area, in an alternative color or blend of colors. We started by using the lighter crescent blue, then blended it with downy to create clouds. We didn’t take it too literally, swirling and streaking with the brush. 
  5. Add in layers of details to the secondary section of your painting, again blending paints to create a natural look.
    How to put a photo to canvas | easy art idea
  6. Add final details.


Blending paints gives a painting depth.

Layer – allow each layer to dry {often just a few minutes between each}. How to put a photo to canvas | easy art idea

Don’t be too literal. Your interpretation will feel casual and beautiful rather than forced. 

Try again. Don’t like the result? Just paint over it and try again!

How to put a photo to canvas | easy art idea

I’m so excited to add another piece of art to our walls that has significance to Chris and I. Thank you to Lowe’s for sponsoring this project and carrying such an inspiring color palette that compliments our home. As always, all opinions and ideas are my own.

Turn your vacation photos to pretty art for your home!

How to put a photo to canvas | easy art idea


How to put a photo to canvas | easy art idea

Turn your iPhone photos into beautiful art for your home!

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9 comments on “Photo to Canvas Painting”

  1. Turned out so lovely! And who would have guessed you used paint from a hardware store…not me!

  2. I’m literally obsessed with this!! So gorgeous and creative! I’m going to come live at your house. Don’t mind me!!!

  3. This is a lovely tutorial Julie!! I can’t wait to do one of my own. I’ve tried my hand at water colors the other day…lets just say, I’ll need practice before I commit to that! ☺️

    • Yeah, Chloe – don’t count on me for watercolor. I found this to be significantly easier. My watercolor experiment last year proved to be more elementary than my daughter’s.

  4. Looks beautiful! Can you share the details of the frame? It looks really nice. Can you show a full closeup of the finished painting?

    • I purchased them in bulk from an online art store last year. Maybe – promise not to judge? I truly am not an artist, but so proud to have something beautiful to hang in our home.

  5. Simple and so beautiful! Looking forward to seeing you in September!

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