Wednesday, September 25, 2013

How to turn fun prints into canvas art

As I mentioned earlier I am a HUGE fan of Etsy. For one there are so many talented people making money off of something they love to do and I think that's awesome and two that's where I poach a lot of my designs. If I were stealing their ideas, copying them exactly, and trying to sell them I might feel bad about it but mostly I just use them for myself or for gifts so I don't lose any sleep over it.

I love to make things but I am TERRIBLE at coming up with original ideas or designs. For example I saw this cute little print on Etsy and decided it would make a perfect gift for a friend who's pregnant!

I went and bought a few 12x12 canvases at Joann's (50% off of a three pack with my handy dandy couponing skillz!) and got to work. Like I said I'm not great at original ideas but once I have a basic outline, I make it my own.

Things you will need:
- A canvas (whatever size you want)
- Computer
- Printer
- Chalk
- Pencil
- Paintbrushes
- Acrylic paint in desired colors
- Optional: A bottle glass of wine (it takes a while, you may as well enjoy yourself)

Step 1: Paint your canvas using your "background" color. You will need to do at least 2 coats and probably more depending on how you want it to look. For this project I wanted a streaky night sky so I only did 2 coats. If you want it to be solid you'll need 3 or more.

Step 2: Design what you would like to make in a program like Publisher. In this case my canvas was a 12x12 so I made a blank 12x12 page and recreated the Etsy print using a font I wanted and a graphic I found on Google Images. I liked the general idea of the print, but I wanted to make it more child-like so I used a cartoon moon and played around with the fonts. When I was done I printed them out and cut them out so that I could arrange them how I wanted on the canvas.

Step 3: Using chalk, color all over the outline of the wording and the picture, then place the picture where you want on the canvas and trace over it with a pencil. This will leave an outline on your canvas (there will be some extra chalk dust on the canvas, but don't worry you'll get rid of it later).

Step 4: Fill in your tracings with paint, whatever color you want. This goes for the font too. I would suggest using a smaller, longer brush and holding it like a pencil, it gives you more control over what you're doing. This step takes a while, I like to listen to audiobooks while I work, it makes it go by super quick!

Step 5: Once the paint has dried you'll need to get rid of all of the leftover chalk dust. Take a barely damp rag and wipe it over the canvas, make sure to get in the cracks. And TA DA! No evidence left that you're a copy cat rather than a real art-ist!

Step 6: Add the little details you want. I added the stars free hand and put a face on my moon. The details are where you can make it (kind of) your own creation, so go nuts.

Step 7: Stand back and admire your masterpiece!

You can do this with pretty much anything you want so you'll never have to lust over that Esty print you just have to have again!

I plan on doing another canvas themed "you are my sunshine" to go with this one, I'll post pictures of the pair once that one is done too.

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