"on the canvas" means "defeat" in the boxing. What does "down upon the canvas" in this case?
Since this is a song, it will be a little difficult to explain since I'm just interpreting the lyrics. Everyone's interpretation is different and Coldplay does not give a specific explanation of the song. In this song I believe "down upon the canvas" means to paint a picture. I believe Coldplay is singing about painting a picture of the world as a whole and how there is more beauty to this world than we "paint it" or see it; that we can create our own world how we want it. This is just an interpretation and may not be exactly what the artist intended for "down upon the canvas" to represent or mean.