These graphic wall art canvasses have been very popular as of late – in fact, popular is pretty much a complete understatement. But, nonetheless, I still love them. My favorite are this set by Waterleaf Interiors that lists all my local beaches and favorite surf breaks!
Buuuuut … these puppies retail at nearly $400 a piece, which as shocking as it is, is not in my budget. I know, right? I can’t believe it either. So, literally for a year, I’ve contemplated how to make these for myself, everything from having canvasses printed and affixing wooden dowels to them to painting them myself. At then end of the day, I went with the latter option because it was the most cost effective – especially with the Aaron Brothers buy one get one for a penny canvas sale!
I got two 12″ x 36″ canvasses for I think $40 – that is a deal my friends! I had some white paint for the lettering in my old art supplies and for the black background I used chalkboard paint leftover from my sister. At first, I thought I would just draw the lettering onto the chalkboard paint with chalk, but that is not a good idea and didn’t work at all. I put one coat of the chalkboard paint on so that it left some nice streaks in the paint, giving it more of a aged and worn look. I highly recommend using the chalkboard paint for this because it is more watery and thin in consistency. Using an acrylic would take a whole tube of paint and be a total pain.
So now, how do you get the letters onto the canvas? There are two options. I typed up what I wanted and printed it out on 11″ x 17″ sheets. If you are transferring onto a light canvas, you can use pencil. Just trace over all the edges of the letters on the backside of the paper, then you’ll tape it onto your canvas and trace over from the front side. The pencil from the back will transfer onto the canvas leaving you an outline to paint in.
I discovered the pencil was just too hard to see on the black canvas so I took a piece of chalk and rubbed it all over the back of my 11″ x 17″ sheets. Then, using the same method, taped them to my canvas and traced the outline of my letters. You can see how it transfers in the image below where it says “Hermosa Beach”.
Now you just get busy painting, and painting, and painting. It’s a pretty painstaking process, especially on those smaller letters. To get good, clean lines and sharp corners, you need to take your time. Grab a glass of wine, put on a movie and settle in … for the entire day. Haha, no, but really – it took me a good 4-5 hours start-to-finish for this one panel. But OH SO WORTH IT!
I hung it up over my desk with a cork inspiration board in the middle and I am so pleased with myself! You can see the edge of the other canvas that will have the names of the beach breaks on it on the right … but I haven’t done it yet because my hand cramps from holding the paint brush with a death grip for 4 hours still haven’t gone away … I LOVE this artwork, I’ve gotten tons of compliments on it and am super pleased. At $20 a panel compared to $400 a panel, I am seriously super pleased.Other great reads ...