Monday, March 4, 2013

Canvas means fancy, right?

Last week, I posted a few printables which featured northwest Georgia and northeast Alabama (some of my past and present stomping grounds), as well as one of northwest Florida (J-ville, people! The hubs’ old home-town!).

I had planned on printing them out and framing ‘em up in some cheap white frames (like these from Target), but then I made a run to Michael’s and picked up an array of canvases to play around with. When I saw this 5x7 canvas, I thought it would be perfect for the state shout-outs I want to hang in the bathroom.

After I got home, I tried to figure out how to do it as neatly as possible without it looking ridiculous too. So I looked around pinterest a bit and found that most times people just cut out a stencil. Simple simple simple.

So I googled a simple Georgia map, printed it, cut it out with some scissors, then traced it onto my canvas. (In the photos, I taped off the edges (hoping to get the same white edge around all the canvases by using the blue tape as a constant gage). In the end, I scrapped it and redid them without the edge—after finishing I decided that I liked it better bigger, filling up the entire canvas. So ignore those blue lines and let's pretend that the map goes all the way to the edge of the canvas, shall we?

 So, like I said, print out the map (or whatever, really-- shape of fruit, fancy stencil, etc). Cut it out and place it on the canvas. Decide where you want it. Then trace it up.

After it's traced and centered where you want it, use a small-tipped-brush and go over the outer edges of your shape.  I used the small-tipped one for the intricate edges, and then switched to a stiffer, wider one for the straight-shots. It just made it go faster.
Then slowly go around the ennnnnntire thing.
Now you have an empty Georgia. Nice, right?
Next step, using an exacto-knife, I just cut out my heart-shape from the blue masking tape I had on hand.

Then you press it down firmly onto your shape. This will create negative space which will not be touched by the paint. Thus giving you a pretty white heart over Dade County, my homeland. ;-)
Next up, paint it! Even though you firmly pressed and smashed that blue-tape-heart down onto the canvas, be careful around it. You don't want to goop up too much paint around it. Brush it as dry as possible, then after you finish painting in the entire shape, go back and add another layer around it. 
Don't wait for the paint to dry. There's no need. Just use your exacto-knife to peel a piece of the blue-tape-heart and pull it off.
And there you have it. Georgia with a big fat heart over Dade County-- just where the heart of Georgia lies in reality as well. ;-)

Now I think that instead of buying a frame, I might just try my hand at making my own. I have white trim downstairs that we've never used-- I could totally whip something up, right?

Any recommendations on what to frame it with? Leave it just-canvas? Too artsy without a frame? It is going in a bathroom... not a gallery. But I think some home-made frames would make it even more special to us. And that's what it was all about to begin with-- making some art that is special to us and our journey together.

Oh! And here's how it looks right now-- they really need frames.


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