"All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind."
Khalil Gibran

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Painted Canvas

I was at it once again.  My Best Friends son just recently turned 20 (a reality I'm not sure I've accepted yet) This young man is very artistically talented so I hesitated at first to make a painting for him as a gift, but decided that he would probably find sentimental value in a gift I made, so I decided to go ahead and do it.

This was a small canvas that I used acrylic paints to complete.

I began by using a large brush and dipping it in my water dish to wet the entire surface, then I proceeded to use 3 different metallic paints to make the background (white,taupe, & bronze).  I overlapped these colors so that they would bleed into one another.  If one color stood out too much, I simply wet my brush again and went over the previous brush strokes to lighten and blend them.

Once the background was finished drying I took a pencil and lightly traced out where I wanted to paint my flourishes.  After that I drew the cross and erased any of the flourish lines that went behind the cross image.  This way it would give the effect that the cross was laying on top of the flourish.

When that was complete I could start painting again.  I came back and used a deep red to paint the flourishes.  I was very pressed for time (I did this whole project in about 2 hours) so I decided not to paint the cross.  I grabbed a metallic gold pen and went over my pencil lines.  Next I highlighted the flourishes with metallic taupe, and grabbed the hair dryer to assist the paint in the drying process.

Finally I opened up a Word document and typed in his name (Nik) and I looked through several font types until I found one that I liked.  In this case I liked the 'N' from one font and the 'IK' from another.  Once I had decided on a font, I enlarged it to a size that was easy for me to see in detail.  Then I took my pencil and drew his name as I saw it on the computer.

If you are not good at freehand or you are lacking confidence in this area, a great tool is to use carbon paper.  Just print out your picture or words using your computer, lay the carbon paper over your project, lay your printed name over the carbon paper, tape them down to keep them from sliding around while working, and trace over the printed name or picture.  Be sure to go over every line.  I like to use a pencil or writing tool so that I can easily tell which sections I have traced over.  Remove your carbon paper and you should have a nice outline in which you can now paint.

Once I had his name on the canvas I painted it with a black metallic paint and used the gold pen to draw on highlights.  (Again, I used the pen because I had waited until the last possible minute)

In the end I was pleased with how it turned out.  Given more time I would have likely painted a second layer of flourishes but this might have been too busy, so perhaps it was better this way.

The whole project was less than $10 since I had my own paints and brushes, and it was personal and hopefully had a special sentimental value to the recipient.

So, next time you can't think of what to get someone....consider painting them some artwork.

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