Can Digital Art Be Printed on Canvas?

Can Digital Art Be Printed on Canvas?

If you’re like most people these days, you’ve got thousands of images stored on your cell phone or tablet. You may even draw and create original works on a tablet or computer. Not every picture is wall-worthy, of course, but occasionally you may want to transform a digital image into a tangible piece. You need to know if digital art can be printed on canvas. 

Yes, digital art can be printed on canvas however the art must be at a resolution of at least 300 pixels and an aspect ratio of 1.25 to 1.50, depending on the shape of the canvas. There are several online platforms that will allow you to upload and print your art to a canvas in a few clicks.

Ready to showcase that night shot of the Eiffel Tower or bring Machu Picchu to life on a blank wall? Read on to find out if, and how, digital art can be printed on canvas.

Digital Art Works Well on Canvas

Art software, multi-camera cell phones, and wifi-capable SLR cameras have revolutionized the way we create original art and capture beautiful scenes. From professional artists to everyday folks snapping family photos, everyone has the opportunity to craft an art piece worthy of display.

Beyond paper or cardstock, images and digital art files can be printed on just about anything, including canvas. There are tons of online websites that provide customers with a lot of different printing surface options.

Here are just a few examples:

  • Blankets & pillows
  • Mugs
  • Wallpaper
  • Calendar
  • Puzzles
  • Bags & hats

Using canvas as the display material gives you so many more options in size and shape. Canvas boards come in a variety of dimensions so you can find the right one to suit the image you’re trying to print.  

Popular sizes include 8×10, 16×20, and 12×12. When you want to fill a larger space, consider these dimensions: 24×36, 30×40, and 36×36.

A canvas board consists of white canvas material stretched tightly over a wood frame. Wood frames are typically about 1½ to 3 inches thick. The canvas material wraps around the sides and attaches underneath. 

The structure of a canvas adds several qualities to your art piece.  

  • Depth comes with the thickness which allows you to wrap the image around the sides if you choose.  
  • Canvas provides a durability not found with regular paper or cardstock.
  • The colors may seem more vibrant on canvas because the image is bigger and printed at a higher resolution.
  • The texture of the canvas material enhances the image with a feeling of warmth and realness. 

Printing Digital Art on Canvas

Printing great-looking digital art is as simple as clicking a few buttons. Take some photos on your digital camera or phone. Upload the photos to a printing service. Edit, crop, and enhance. Choose the size and surface for your image. Checkout and pay.

There are even websites like that offer ready-made digital art for purchase. There are a few more details to consider when you decide to turn digital art into a canvas print and that’s what we’ll talk about next.

1. File Format

Whether you are printing a photograph or an original digital art piece, your image should be saved in an appropriate format for printing. What format you choose will depend on the source of the image.

In general, TIFF is the best format for printing photographs and scanned art. TIFF, or Tag Image File Format, is a high quality, larger-sized file that gives the level of resolution you need to enlarge an image on canvas. Because TIFFs are large files, storage can be an issue.

JPEG is a frequently used file type that offers a range of good to higher quality images with a low file size. Quality will depend on the source of the image and the manner of export.

2. Resolution

Resolution refers to the sharpness of the image. It is expressed in horizontal and vertical pixels, or the number of small dots per inch. A low resolution of 5 pixels equals 5 dots per inch and would look grainy or pixelated.

For printing images in a larger size, you should use a higher resolution. The best choice for printing is 300 dots per inch which gives a uniform look.  

For best results in photographs, start with a quality camera that offers a range of pixel options. 

3. Aspect Ratio

Aspect ratio has to do with achieving the right proportions for your image. It comes from dividing the number of pixels on the long side by the number on the short side of the image. For example, a 24×36 piece at a resolution of 300 should have an aspect ratio of 1.50 (6000p/4000p).

Without the proper aspect ratio, your image can look wonky or skewed at any size. Take care when cropping or editing an image so that you don’t alter the aspect ratio.

Final Thoughts

It’s a shame to let your creativity sit undiscovered on a digital device. Printing your best images on canvas puts it out there – on a wall, in a frame – for you and others to enjoy. Let your artistic side shine, and who knows? You might even find yourself with a new business!