Kid's Sharpie Canvas Art Project

Kids Art Project: sharpies on canvas

I've made a goal this summer to spend some quality art time with my son.  He's eight and growing up fast! And even though art is not his favorite thing to do, I've found that if I can frame an art project as an "experiment" (which it really is), he is much more willing to try it.  

This sharpie canvas art project is my favorite one we've tried! And I love being able to connect with my son this way.  We made it more about the process than about the final product.  We just wanted to see what happened when we drew crazy patterns with different types of markers and sprayed them with rubbing alcohol.  We discovered a few fun things along the way!  

So keep reading below to see how we made this fun collaborative piece of art!

Kids Sharpie Canvas Art

wrapped canvas or canvas board
small spray bottle filled with rubbing alcohol
sharpie markers
washable markers

Step 1: Use your imagination and start drawing any patterns or designs on your canvas that strike your fancy.  It worked out for us that my son drew a funny face in the middle and I worked on the edges.

kids sharpie art on canvas

Step 2:  Fill in the white spaces, varying the colors and patterns.  You can use sharpies or washable markers for this. We found that washable markers spread more easily after spraying with the rubbing alcohol- so I highly recommend trying it!

kids sharpie and crayola art on canvas

Step 3:  Spry your entire canvas with rubbing alcohol.  You can spray sections as you fill them in (that's what we did) and then spray the whole thing all over again after its all colored in.  I think spraying while the markers are wet helps the ink spread and blend more easily.

rubbing alcohol and sharpie art project for kids

Step 4: (optional)  Keep the experiments going! My son tried pressing down paper on the wet canvas to see what cool patterns would transfer onto the paper.  So cool! He thinks it looks like little pixels and I agree.

We also tried scraping the canvas with the tips of markers to create some extra texture.  You could use popsicle sticks, an old credit card, or all kinds of things to do this!

rubbing alcohol and sharpie art project for kids
rubbing alcohol and sharpie art project for kids

Your canvas will dry fairly quickly and before you know it, you'll have a colorful abstract piece of art to hang up!


  1. Fun! I might actually be able to get Spencer and Mason to try this one!

  2. I like the idea of.. framing the project as an experiment. My grandson would get on board with science, long before art. Will be trying this weekend.


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