Why Do You Need To Flip Your Canvas

In regards to creating digital art, there are various methods and resources that artists employ in order to achieve optimal outcomes. Among these techniques, there is one that may seem unusual to those new to the field – flipping the canvas. Though it may appear strange initially, there are valid explanations for this approach and once comprehended, it can serve as a valuable tool in your arsenal for digital artwork.

What Does Flipping The Canvas Mean?

Flipping the canvas, in essence, means mirroring your artwork horizontally or vertically. In many digital art software, this can be achieved with a simple menu selection or keyboard shortcut. For instance, in Photoshop you can do this by going to Image > Image Rotation > Flip Canvas Horizontal/Flip Canvas Vertical.

Why Is It Important?

Flipping the canvas can reveal problems with your artwork that you may have overlooked. These can range from proportion issues, inconsistent lighting, or composition imbalance. Your brain gets used to seeing your art in one particular way and often filters out the errors it has become comfortable with. By flipping the canvas, you’re essentially forcing your brain to look at the image from a fresh perspective.

Proportion and Perspective

Artists often struggle with maintaining consistent proportions and correct perspective. Flipping your canvas can immediately highlight any such inconsistencies. This can be especially useful when working on portraits or figures, where symmetry often plays a significant role.

Composition Balancing

Another advantage of flipping the canvas is that it can help balance your composition. It can draw your attention to elements that are too focused on one side, or if there’s an imbalance in the distribution of visual weight. This is a handy tip for both digital and traditional artists to create a well-balanced artwork.

How Often Should You Flip Your Canvas?

There’s no hard and fast rule as to how frequently you should flip your canvas. Different artists have their own routines and preferences. Some artists flip their canvas every few minutes, while others might only do it a few times during the entire process. Ultimately, it’s up to you to find a rhythm that suits your workflow.


Flipping your canvas is a simple yet effective technique to improve your artwork. It allows you to spot errors, adjust proportions, and balance your composition. So next time you’re working on a digital artwork, don’t forget to give your canvas a flip. You might be surprised at what you discover!