Best Canvas Size For Digital Art

The best canvas size for your digital art depends on how you plan to display, publish, or print out your illustrations.

For online posting, a decent quality canvas should be at least 2000 pixels for the long side, and 1200 pixels for the short side.

For printing, doubling up the size you intend to print for your artworks is a way to be ready with high-quality prints.

You can configure your canvas size depending on the social media platforms you intend to post your artwork on, or the paper size you plan to print your artwork by referring to the list I have included below.

What Is Canvas In Digital Art?

Canvas is the measurable size of the surface that you are drawing on. In digital art, your canvas is the drawing space where you can draw with your brush.

Canvas size is measured either through inches, mm, pixels, etc. but I will use pixels as the default mode of measurement as I discuss canvas size in this article.

I recommend at least 2000 pixels for the long side and 1200 for the short side for decent quality when posting your digital art online. You can also follow the standard sizes of your main online platform for the best upload quality.

If you want to know how pixels convert to inches, etc., there are free online converters that you can easily find by searching on Google. Also, some drawing software will automatically convert it.

I have provided a list of standard image sizes for various online platforms below.

Facebook 1200 x 630 pixels
Instagram 1080 x 1080 pixels
Twitter 1024 x 512 pixels
Pinterest 1000 x 1500 pixels
Deviant art 1920 x 1080 pixels

How Is Resolution Related To Canvas Size?

Another important element alongside canvas is resolution. The resolution would dictate how much detail you can draw in that space. It’s important to always configure your resolution at 300 PPI/DPI.

If two canvases with the same size differ in resolution, the image quality also differs since the canvas with a higher resolution can hold more detail.

An image with low resolution would have large pixels, so it appears less detailed. Whereas, if the same image has a high resolution, the pixels would be smaller, so the image details are crisp and clear.

Read more about the best resolution for digital art here.

Tip: Double Up Your Canvas Size For Printing

Scaling a large illustration to make it smaller isn’t a problem. Scaling a small illustration to make it larger, on the other hand, may pose problems such as pixelated or blurry outcomes.

If you are not sure whether you want to make larger prints of your artworks in the future, just choose a canvas size that is at least double your intended size.

As I have mentioned, scaling a large canvas to make it smaller is not a problem, so might as well be ready with a larger canvas to avoid this problem in the future.

However, don’t be careless about using such large canvases as it may slow down your software or your device. File sizes climb very fast when increasing canvas sizes, and it could affect some devices or computers that have lower specs.

You should test out the performance of your computer or device before you start playing around with your drawings and risk losing some progress.

What Canvas Size Should I Choose For Printing?

The simple answer is that it depends on how large you want your print to be. In other words, you need to choose the canvas size that suits your intended size of the physical print.

Here is a list of the standard sizes in photo printing, and paper sizes in 300 DPI resolution that you can use as a guide

3 x 5 inches 900 x 1500 pixels
4 x 6 inches 1200 x 1800 pixels
5 x 7 inches 1500 x 2100 pixels
8 x 8 inches 2400 x 2400 pixels
8.5 x 11 inches 2550 x 3300 pixels
11 x 14 inches 3300 x 4200 pixels
A5 paper 1748 x 2480 pixels
A4 paper 2480 x 3508 pixels
A3 paper 3508 x 4960 pixels


If you want to post your artwork online as well, then you can easily save a smaller size version of the file used for printing.

Remember, with high resolutions and large canvases, you can downsize and downscale efficiently, but you cannot do the opposite easily.

About the author: My name is Marcus, I am a lawyer (LL.M.) and the founder of this website. Besides sometimes doing lawyer stuff, I like to draw and improve my skills as a “digital artist”, and I write about what I learn on this website. If you want to know more about me or reach out, then you can click here.

2 comments… add one
  • Nia Hayes - ShunCy Oct 6, 2021 @ 4:31

    Whether you’re looking to start out as an artist or you’re an experienced professional, it’s no secret that how big your canvas size is can have a big impact on the quality of the final product. But what exactly makes a canvas large enough? What about small? And is there any right or wrong time to use either size?
    Nia Hayes – ShunCy recently posted…How to grow tulsiMy Profile

    • Marcus Dec 5, 2021 @ 17:07

      Hi Nia,

      The best answer is: it depends on what you want to use the image for. And you might have to use a little trial and error and keep tweaking the size to find out what is just right for your purpose:)

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