I love trying different techniques on canvas. So here we go again, this time I experimented using a Sea Sponge. Also in this post, I will share how I transfer a simple image to canvas.

My subject was a photo of my little one trying on a space helmet and imaging he was an astronaut going to space. The Sea Sponge seems like the perfect tool to experiment and create a cool random effect that gives the effect of deep space.


  • Canvas
  • Acrylic Paints
  • Brushes
  • Sea Sponges (found at any art supply store)
  • Tracing Paper
  • Graphite Pencil

The first step was to paint a base color on the canvas, make sure all the canvas is covered. Any color for the base will do. Just remember it will show through your sponge texture. I decided to paint a black to white gradient for my base color.

The second step is to grab your sea sponge and get to work on the background. I used the lighter colors (gray and white) at the beginning (dab, dab, dab), and every so often I took a paintbrush and lightly glided across different sponged areas while the paint was still wet to break up the sponge effect a little.

Then, I worked in the darker colors (blues) with my sea sponge. I worked on the background until I was happy with the results.

I made sure the area where my image would be to remain a light color. Note: I usually draw an image first then mask that area, but here, I was going for a minimalist line drawing with a background peeping through.

Finally, it was time to trace my image onto the tracing paper. This was just a simplistic tracing, not trying to gather every detail fo my painting. It depends what you are going for.


For example, my little one is looking down, so I used another photo to create the face. Next, I flipped the tracing paper over and covered it with graphite (coloring with the flat side of the pencil). When well covered, I placed the tracing paper (graphite side down) on the canvas.


Using painters tape to secure, I traced the drawing. Once complete, I removed the tracing paper, and my image was on the canvas. Now I was ready to paint my image. Once the image was painted, I went back in with my sea sponge and added more depth and color to the background.


Hope you found these tips helpful in your next painting. I had fun and will be experimenting more with the sea sponge in the future.