Definition of a Blank Canvas

Many paintings begin as blank canvases.
Many paintings begin as blank canvases. (Image: watercolour painting image by Pontus Edenberg from

The term "blank canvas" can refer to a number of different things, both literal and metaphorical. However, all meanings have in common the idea of an empty starting point.


The literal definition of a blank canvas refers to a white or off-white piece of cloth. A blank canvas for artists to paint on is often stretched tightly over a wood frame and stapled to the inside of the frame.

Other Art Definitions

A blank canvas can refer to artistic supplies other than canvas that have not yet been filled with art. For example, a piece of paper could be considered a blank canvas for a writer or poet and a roll of photographic film is a blank canvas for a photographer.


The definition of a blank canvas can include metaphors that have nothing to do with art. For example, somebody just getting into the world of politics may be called a "blank canvas" because he does not know much yet about working in that environment.


Promoted By Zergnet


Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!