Best Canvas Size And Resolution For Digital Art – With Use Cases


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This article covers the best canvas size and resolution for digital art. Choosing the best canvas size and resolution might not be easy when you have a certain project in front of you, and you want to get the best quality out of your art software. A large canvas size, like 3000 x 7000 px with 300 PPI (pixels per inch), will give you good results overall. Let’s explore the topic a bit more!

Key Takeaways

  • A good rule of thumb is to use 3000 x 7000 px canvas size at 300 PPI to get the best possible sharpness for your artwork.
  • Movie posters and YouTube thumbnails have very different canvas sizes and resolutions, so there’s no one answer when choosing canvas size and resolution.
  • Working at higher resolution and canvas sizes requires more RAM (random access memory) from your computer or tablet.
  • Printable digital art must have at least 300 PPI resolution. 72 PPI, on the other hand, is enough for web use.

What Is Canvas Size And Resolution In Digital Art

Canvas size refers to the dimensions of the digital workspace or the digital canvas you have when you start a new drawing in an art software like Procreate, Clip Studio Paint, or Adobe Photoshop.

The canvas size is measured in pixels or inches and determines the overall size of the artwork.

Resolution refers to the number of pixels per inch (ppi) or dots per inch (dpi) in an image. A high-resolution image will have more pixels or dots per inch and creates a clearer and sharper image. Low-resolution images may appear blurry or pixelated when printed or viewed at a larger size.

When creating digital art, it’s important to consider the final use or output of the artwork and choose a canvas size and resolution that will allow for clear and high-quality printing or display.

Best Canvas Size For Digital Art

The best canvas size for digital art depends on the intended use or output of the artwork. A good starting point is to use 3000 x 7000 px canvas size at 300 PPI resolution for digital art.

For digital illustrations or graphics that will be used for web or screen display, a canvas size of 72 ppi and a size of 800-1200 pixels is good enough.

For digital art that will be printed, a higher resolution of 300 ppi or more is recommended. The canvas size will depend on the desired final print size, with larger print sizes requiring larger canvas sizes. For example, a digital art print that will be 8″ x 10″ at 300 ppi would need a canvas size of 2400 x 3000 pixels.

It’s important to remember that larger canvas sizes will require more RAM (random access memory) and processing power, so it’s important to consider the capabilities of your computer or device when choosing a canvas size for digital art.

Choosing A Canvas Size For Different Digital Art Use Cases

Use caseCanvas size in pixelsCanvas size in inchesCanvas size in cmResolution (PPI)
Movie Poster8100 x 12000 px or 12300 px27″ x 40″ or 41″68.58 x 104.14 or 68.58 x 104.14300
Album cover3600 x 3600 px12″ x 12″30.48 x 30.48300
Printable wall art7200 x 10800 px24″ x 36″60.96 x 91.44300
Typical A42481 x 3507 px8.27″ x 11.69″20.99 x 29.7300
Typical A33507 x 4962 px11.69″ x 16.54″29.7 x 42.0300
Web most common1366 x 768 px18.97″ x 10.67″48,19 x 27.0972
YouTube Thumbnail1920 x 1080 px26.67″ x 15″67.73 x 38.172
Instagram post1080 x 1080 px15″ x 15″38.1 x 38.172
Pinterest Pin1000 x 1500 px13.9″ x 20.8″35.3 x 52.972
Table of different canvas sizes for different digital art use cases

Best Resolution To Use In Digital Art

As a general rule, a higher resolution is better for printing as it allows for more detail and clarity. Higher resolution images create larger file sizes, so take this into account when creating digital art in high resolution.

For printable digital art, a resolution of 300 pixels per inch (PPI) is considered the best resolution to have. This is the standard resolution for high-quality printing and will produce excellent results for most purposes.

For web use, 72 PPI is often used as the standard resolution. This is because, in web use, you don’t need the extra sharpness present in 300 PPI images. 72 PPI images also load faster as the pixel density is lower.

Working higher than 300 PPI resolution rarely brings noticeable differences to the sharpness or quality of the final artwork. 300 – 400 PPI tends to be a good range to work in.

Hardware And Software For Working With High-Resolution Images

Current art software like Adobe Photoshop and Clip Studio Paint enables you to work on very high pixel sizes (30000 x 30000 px), so you usually don’t have to worry about art software not having enough pixels for you.

It’s important to know that the bigger resolution and canvas size you have, the more RAM (random access memory) is required from your computer. The speed of the RAM does not have as big of an impact as does the amount of RAM you have.

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32-64GB of RAM is enough for creating high-quality and high-resolution digital art. Having more than 64GB of RAM always helps, but most laptops or tablets don’t yet have more than 64GB.

If you use desktop PC, then you can have more than 64GB of RAM, as the only limitations come from the motherboard and CPU you have.

You can also optimize how art software like Photoshop uses RAM.

Inside Adobe Photoshop, you can adjust how much RAM Photoshop can use


Digital Artist

I’m a digital artist who is passionate about anime and manga art. My true artist journey pretty much started with CTRL+Z. When I experienced that and the limitless color choices and the number of tools I could use with art software, I was sold. Drawing digital anime art is the thing that makes me happy among eating cheeseburgers in between veggie meals.

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