Get cre­ative with blank wall can­vases

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - CON­NIE OLIVER

HERE I go again, telling you how easy it is to cre­ate your own art can­vases for your home. Well, if you haven’t tried it yet, why not? If you’ve priced out any paint­ings or prints re­cently you will re­al­ize that cre­at­ing your own wall art is a much more af­ford­able and cre­ative op­tion. Our fea­ture photo, cour­tesy of Benjamin Moore, shows three painted can­vases that, when grouped to­gether, help cre­ate a lovely vi­gnette along with the mir­rored chest and table­top ac­ces­sories. Cre­at­ing a paint­ing out of thin air isn’t easy, but recre­at­ing some­thing that catches your eye may very well be. It wouldn’t be all that dif­fi­cult to paint a sim­i­lar can­vas to the ones shown here, for in­stance. Some acrylic craft paint or even in­te­rior house paint can be used to paint pre-stretched can­vases, which are avail­able at arts-and­crafts sup­ply stores. Dollar stores also carry can­vases but not in larger sizes. The small ones are great for prac­tice, though. The fun in this project is that you can use left­over wall paint from your dé­cor pal­ette to cre­ate a paint­ing that will def­i­nitely work in your space, where the colours are al­ready set as a back­drop. So, search through mag­a­zines and on the In­ter­net to find ab­stract art you like that can guide you in cre­at­ing your own work of art. Use a va­ri­ety of tex­tures Us­ing dif­fer­ent ma­te­ri­als, such as tex­tiles, can also help you cre­ate a one-of-a-kind can­vas. Stretch a great piece of fab­ric over the can­vas and hang as-is. Em­bel­lish with no­tions as de­sired. Paint a can­vas in a dark colour and stretch lace fab­ric over top for a two-toned, ro­man­tic ef­fect. Use sten­cils (from let­ter­ing to fig­ures) to cre­ate a beloved quote or words of wis­dom. Glue wall­pa­per to a can­vas for a dif­fer­ent look. ‘Frame’ the can­vas with dec­o­ra­tive but­tons, fur­ni­ture tacks, beads or what­ever you like. Glue string to the can­vas to make a unique de­sign (in­clud­ing names or words if de­sired) then paint the en­tire project in one solid colour. Hint: adding a tex­ture, like sand or saw­dust to the paint be­fore­hand will pro­vide even more tex­tu­ral qual­ity to your piece. Paint small twigs in a solid colour and ad­here to a can­vas painted in a con­trast­ing colour, or paint in a mono­tone pal­ette. Use old road maps to cover a can­vas then age the item with wa­tered down brown craft paint. Don’t be afraid of sil­hou­ettes You can eas­ily cre­ate an art can­vas of any sil­hou­ette you de­sire, whether it’s of your pets, kids or your­self. The trick is to find pho­tos of your cho­sen sub­ject, en­large them to an ap­pro­pri­ate size for your can­vas and cut around the sub­ject’s im­age. Paint the en­tire can­vas in matte black craft paint and let dry. (If not the en­tire can­vas, be sure to at least paint where the sil­hou­ette will be placed.) Cut out the sil­hou­ette of your sub­ject pho­to­graph and place on the can­vas where de­sired. (You’ll be us­ing the ac­tual im­age of per­son or pet, not the back­ground por­tion of the photo.) Wear­ing plas­tic gloves, hold the im­age in place and spray the can­vas in a de­sired colour. Once you pull away the photo, you are left with a black sil­hou­ette. Hint: Use photo pa­per on which to print your im­age. It will hold up bet­ter dur­ing the paint­ing process. You can add to this im­age by glu­ing a small string of pearls around the per­son’s neck. For pets, con­sider adding a col­lar and/or tags. A smaller pet can­vas would be cute hang­ing on the wall over a pet dish. Many other items can be used to cre­ate a tex­tu­ral art can­vas, from silk flow­ers to puz­zle pieces. Once the item is painted in one solid colour, it will look fab­u­lous and will give you a unique 3-D ef­fect. What to paint Ab­stract paint­ing is best, un­less you are an artist. I’m def­i­nitely not, so I’d go with an ab­stract paint­ing us­ing colours that work in my dé­cor. I did see a great idea on Pin­ter­est, wherein the artist used rec­tan­gu­lar can­vases to recre­ate a large paint chip. Use three hues of one colour and tape off a bor­der in be­tween. Paint each sec­tion in a grad­u­ated colour then cre­ate a ‘colour name’ and write it on the card just like you’d find on a paint chip at the hard­ware store. It’s a fun idea and would be neat for a home of­fice. I think a group­ing of var­i­ous sizes of can­vases is more in­ter­est­ing than one gi­gan­tic paint­ing. You can cre­ate an in­ter­est­ing vi­gnette like the one pic­tured here. Take the plunge and try your hand at a cre­ative project for your home. You may be sur­prised just how in­ge­nious you are!

BENJAMIN MOORE

Painted can­vases grouped to­gether can add colour and cre­ativ­ity to any space.

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