Skip to content
Switch branches/tags
Go to file


Failed to load latest commit information.


canvas-sketch is a loose collection of tools, modules and resources for creating generative art in JavaScript and the browser.

example of canvas-sketch running in Chrome

Quick Start with Node.js & npm

To jump directly into canvas-sketch, try the following terminal commands with node@8.x and npm@5.x or newer.

# Install the CLI tool globally
npm install canvas-sketch-cli -g

# Make a new folder to hold all your generative sketches
mkdir my-sketches

# Move into that folder
cd my-sketches

# Scaffold a new 'sketch.js' file and open the browser
canvas-sketch sketch.js --new --open

While in the browser, hit Cmd + S or Ctrl + S to export a high-resolution PNG of your artwork to your ~/Downloads folder.

Some other commands to try:

# Start the tool on an existing file and change PNG export folder
canvas-sketch src/foobar.js --output=./tmp/

# Start a new sketch from the Three.js template
canvas-sketch --new --template=three --open

# Build your sketch to a sharable HTML + JS website
canvas-sketch src/foobar.js --build

# Develop with "Hot Reloading" instead of full page reload
canvas-sketch src/foobar.js --hot

For more features and details, see the Documentation.

Code Example

Once you have the CLI tool running, you can try this example of an A4 print artwork.

const canvasSketch = require('canvas-sketch');

// Sketch parameters
const settings = {
  dimensions: 'a4',
  pixelsPerInch: 300,
  units: 'in'

// Artwork function
const sketch = () => {
  return ({ context, width, height }) => {
    // Margin in inches
    const margin = 1 / 4;

    // Off-white background
    context.fillStyle = 'hsl(0, 0%, 98%)';
    context.fillRect(0, 0, width, height);

    // Gradient foreground
    const fill = context.createLinearGradient(0, 0, width, height);
    fill.addColorStop(0, 'cyan');
    fill.addColorStop(1, 'orange');

    // Fill rectangle
    context.fillStyle = fill;
    context.fillRect(margin, margin, width - margin * 2, height - margin * 2);

// Start the sketch
canvasSketch(sketch, settings);

When exporting the image in browser with Cmd + S or Ctrl + S keystrokes, the saved PNG file matches 21 x 29.7 cm at 300 DPI, and can be printed with archival ink on quality paper.

Resulting image looks something like this:

Note: The above PNG file has been scaled/optimized for web.


There are many features still outstanding, such as:

  • API & CLI Docs
  • Easy & beginner-friendly examples
  • Website/frontend
  • HUD/GUI controls
  • "Gallery Mode" for viewing many local sketches
  • External Module for utilities (randomness, geometry, etc)
  • Unit tests
  • More??


MIT, see for details.


[beta] A framework for making generative artwork in JavaScript and the browser.




No packages published