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How To Transfer A Photo To Canvas

These are a series of helpful hints on how to do something art + growth related. Come over and take a peek!

This is a series of helpful hints I want to share with you that I’ve learned along the way in my art journey.  For more How To’s click here.

Come on over and check out how to transfer a photo to canvas. Click through for the quick and easy step-by-step instructions.

If there’s one thing I love, it’s to learn how to do something myself that I usually pay a bunch of money for. Recently I bought a canvas that a company will print a picture on for you.  And it got me thinking: what if could create a picture printed canvas on my own?  With a little research, I found it’s not only doable, but it’s easy and cheaper to do it myself.  Woohoo!  Today I’m sharing the process with you, so you can do it too.

Let’s get this party started!

First, let’s talk supplies.  Here are the things you’ll need for the project:

  • Canvas.

Whatever size you want, but keep in mind you’ll need a print that’s somewhat the same size.

  • Inkjet print of image you want to transfer, on photocopy paper.

(you can get this from Staples if you don’t have a printer) *It’s important to remember that if there is lettering on the image, you will need a mirror copy of it so the print is going the right way when it’s transferred. (I did it the wrong way originally myself!)

  • Some kind of  medium.

Liquitex has a great one that I use a lot but you can also use mod podge, especially if you’re on a strict budget.  When you’re buying it, keep an eye on the finish; “matte” or “gloss” are the terms they will use. Consider these when you think about how you want your finished canvas to look in the end.  Matte is cool but can dull the colors + gloss will give you a shine.

  • Old credit card/used gift card for smoothing.
  • Foam Brush
  • Acrylic Sealer (Optional)

You can put a final coat on the image to extend the life of the colors and overall look.

Come on over and check out how to transfer a photo to canvas. Click through for the quick and easy step-by-step instructions.

The first thing you’ll do is smear a bunch of medium on your paper print.  I used modpodge since it’s a product known for it’s ability to transfer images (and it’s cheaper which always helps).  I just squirted a bunch on the paper and used the foam brush to move it around. You want to make sure that you coat the liquid evenly on the paper and apply it a little thicker than you’re comfortable with.

 

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Come on over and check out how to transfer a photo to canvas. Click through for the quick and easy step-by-step instructions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Come on over and check out how to transfer a photo to canvas. Click through for the quick and easy step-by-step instructions.

After I applied it, you can see that the image is barely visible through the layer of modpodge.  That’s what you want.  When everything is evenly coated, take the paper and lay it centered on your canvas.  Then, as best you can, smooth out any air bubbles with your credit/gift card.  A little warning here: be gentle.  The paper is wet and will rip easily if you’re not careful so just glide that card around and get the paper as flat as you can against the canvas.

Come on over and check out how to transfer a photo to canvas. Click through for the quick and easy step-by-step instructions.

If you want to turn the canvas over so that the frame is facing up, it will apply extra pressure to the paper to make sure everything sticks.  I even added some weights on top of the frame (I used candles) for good measure.

Next: you’re going to wait 24 hours.  YES!  You must wait or it won’t come out right.  The medium has to completely dry so that you can separate the paper from the canvas without creating a gooey mess.  Do it too soon and you’ll be covered in sticky paper.  Yuck.

After you wait 24 hours, get your sponge really wet and gently coat the canvas with water.  Pretty soon you’ll see the image appearing through the wet paper.

Come on over and check out how to transfer a photo to canvas. Click through for the quick and easy step-by-step instructions!

Start gently rubbing the paper off with the sponge.  It gets a little messy, but that’s how you reveal the picture underneath.  Keep wetting the paper and rubbing gently.

Come on over and check out how to transfer a photo to canvas. Click through for the quick and easy step-by-step instructions!

Eventually the paper will come off and you’ll have your image on the canvas.  Magic!

Come on over and check out how to transfer a photo to canvas. Click through for the quick and easy step-by-step instructions!

So as you can see, I tried out 2 different styles with this project: one was to use an image that was flush with the sides of the canvas and the other looks like it has a natural border because the picture was smaller than the canvas.  Which ever one you try is up to you and what kind of look you’re going for.  If you try to do the flush edged style and it doesn’t reach the edge, you can always add a little paint to make it a mixed media one-of-a-kind piece!  Just have fun with it and don’t get too crazy about making it perfect.

If the edges are a little ragged, you can either sand  it with fine sand paper or just slap a little medium on it and smooth out those edges.

I do want to show you a mistake I made though, so you don’t do the same thing:  I got a little zealous/impatient and used the scrubby part of the sponge to remove the paper.  You can see where it pulled off part of the image from the canvas. Oopsie.  But I can touch up those parts with a little paint too. And it gives it a little character, no?

Come on over and check out how to transfer a photo to canvas. Click through for the quick and easy step-by-step instructions!

If you look closely on the left side of her dress, there’s a cut out that looks a little like a butterfly.  That’s another part of my *ahem* enthusiastic paper removal, or maybe it was an air bubble.  But you know what?  I love how it looks.  Some how the ink made it’s way to the canvas, and created a multi-textured look.

Come on over and check out how to transfer a photo to canvas. Click through for the quick and easy step-by-step instructions.

So there you have it, friend!  How to transfer a photo to canvas for beginners.  It was actually really easy and didn’t take a lot of time at all!  And if you want to seal the image you can use a spray acrylic sealer OR add an isolation coat to it.

Hope you have fun trying, I’d love to see your results in my Facebook Group!

Love, Steph

How To Transfer A Photo To Canvas2018-04-07T16:08:22-04:00

How Color Influences Your Audience

These are a series of helpful hints on how to do something art + growth related. Come over and take a peek!

This is a series of helpful hints I want to share with you that I’ve learned along the way in my art journey.  For more How To’s click here.

Want to know how you can influence your audience with a simple color choice? Click through to learn about complimentary colors and get a free PDF color chart!

When was the last time you were really drawn to a piece of artwork or a graphic?

Most likely the color combination they used made you feel a certain way.  It’s a nifty little trick you can use to attract your audience too!

I’ve always been fascinated with color and how it can affect even the simplest of things.  I’m a big fan of black clothes because it makes getting dressed so easy but when it comes to painting and social media?  The more color the better.

But what if you’re a newbie and don’t know how to blend one color with the other to create the mood you’re looking for?  It’s something easy to learn and it becomes second nature after a while; let’s start with the basics.

Red, blue and yellow are primary colors.  All of the other colors are a combination of these three.

When you mix red and yellow, you get orange (see in the wheel below how it’s in the middle of those two colors?)  Mix blue and yellow, you get green; mix red and blue, you get violet. All of these colors that are produced–Orange, green and violet–are called secondary colors because they’re made from the primary ones.
Complimentary color wheel colors

If you look at the wheel, the complimentary color is whatever is across from it.   Complimentary colors go well together because they don’t share any common colors but create contrast and interest.  Some people say that using complimentary colors seems to makes the image appear like it’s vibrating. #Whoa.

But something to keep in mind when you’re using complimentary colors is: don’t give them an equal 50/50 distribution because that can feel a little obnoxious to the viewer–pick one dominant color and then use the other for accent + contrast.  So the breakup tends to be more like 80/20 in an image, or even 90/10.  Just a touch of contrast can be very powerful.

Want to know how you can influence your audience with a simple color choice? Click through to learn about complimentary colors and get a free PDF color chart!

So why does all of this matter?

When you’re creating something to convey a message to others, whether it be through your art or a social media/blog graphic, you want to take color into consideration.  People inherently react emotionally to images, even if it’s just a simple color. And depending on the message you want to send, you can pick your colors accordingly to create the emotion you’re trying to convey.

Here are some common perceptions/meanings of different colors:

  • Red: affection, power + sometimes fear
  • Orange: comfort, warmth + motivation
  • Yellow: Joy, Happiness + Confidence
  • Green: Balance, Harmony + Health
  • Blue: Calm, soothing + sometimes cold
  • Purple: luxury, mystery + spirituality
  • Pink: compassion, caring + understanding
  • Brown: structure, security + protection
  • Black: control, independence + sometimes evil
  • White: purity, innocence + cleanliness

So say you want to make a graphic for your blog post, titled: “5 Ways To Love Your Life More”.  You want to attract people that are interested in enjoying themselves + are interested in growing from your tips; these people will probably will be a little more open minded, yes?  If you look at the right half of the color wheel–those are the warm colors.  These colors tend to exhibit energy, passion and joy.  They exude “warmth”.  The left half contains the cool colors which give off the feeling of calmness and professionalism.

From this insight, you’d probably want to lean more towards using the warm tones for your graphic–maybe a peachy/orangey background as the dominant color to set the overall tone.  You want to draw people in by making them feel warm + fuzzy and warm colors would do the trick.

Here is a simple visual:

Create simple graphics like this using Canva! Click through for access to Canva For Creatives an ecourse for beginners.
Create simple graphics like this using Canva! Click through for access to Canva For Creatives an ecourse for beginners.

I intentionally kept this graphic very plain to get the message across about the colors used; you can see how you might attract more people to your blog/site who are looking for some comfort if you use the orange toned graphic.  It’s warmer and more psychologically cozy, even with the touch of contrasting color.

And even though the blue toned one says the exact same thing it’s sending a different message, isnt it?  It’s cooler, it’s calm, but not as welcoming because we subconsciously associate blue toned colors with icy, separateness.  Not exactly the warm fuzzy we were looking for 🙂

Of course sometimes our personal preference will override everything, so it’s ok if you liked the blue graphic better!  This is just a basic guideline to show you the difference of emotions that you can create for your online presence.

It becomes a little bit of a fun game to pair up different colors together intentionally–you can experiment by creating 2 different graphics like I did and see which one gets more of a response on your blog or profile.

Just have fun with it!  It’s all a work in progress.

Love, Steph

P.S. Want to dive a little deeper into this topic and learn how to create your own graphics on Canva?  I’m creating an ecourse for beginners just like you!  Click the banner below for more information.

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How Color Influences Your Audience2018-10-08T21:23:17-04:00

5 Easy Ways To Get Inspired {I use all of these!}

get inspired organization techniques

When I started painting, I realized that inspiration doesn’t have to be such an elusive thing.  A lot of times I would ‘wait’ for inspiration; I felt like there had to be the moment that inspiration strikes in order to create; but now I know that’s not true.

Inspiration doesn’t have to be something I chase down.  There are so many ways to create an environment where I can pull that creativity from the deep part of me that is looking to be expressed.  I just have to remember to actually use these handy tricks!

Here are some ways I get inspired, and maybe you can use these tips, too:

1. Make a gratitude list.

The best way I get my wheels turning in the right direction is to look at what is working.  I try to think about what I’m totally psyched about, what is really getting me excited these days + I write those things down feverishly in a simple list.  And these things can change from day to day so I put the list in a place I see a lot (usually on my to-do for the day) to remind me that I have a lot to be happy about.  So simple, right?  It really works.

2. Create a vision board or an inspiration board on Pinterest.

I find that the visual aspect of things has such a big impact on my mood, especially when I want to create new art.  Vision boards are something I’ve always used–collaging pictures and words onto poster board, beckoning those things into my reality (law of attraction anyone?)  They’re easy to make and a great reminder to display in any creative space.  Recently, I have found Pinterest to be such a cool alternative–it’s like an electronic vision board that I can pin things to from around the web.  Here’s my inspiration board if you want to follow along with me on my pinning journey.

3. Watch a Ted Talk on a favorite topic.  

Ted talks are a total mini pick me up.  They’re all 20 minutes or less, so it’s just enough to get the message across without getting boring. #winning  Here are a few good ones that I like:

4. Read a snippet of a great book

I love books I can just pick up and read a little of without diving into the entire thing.  Some good ones I use are:

5. Listen to some great tunes.  

I firmly believe in having a few theme songs–one that gets me going in the morning, one that pumps me up when we need a boost + one that calms me down when I need a hug.  I have too many to list, but here are a few:

Such simple ideas, right?  But using these tools each time I need a little inspiration has made all of the difference.  I hope they help you, too–happy creating!

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*This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may get a commission if you decide to purchase anything from the links but I only recommend products that I use + love myself.

5 Easy Ways To Get Inspired {I use all of these!}2018-03-29T20:23:07-04:00

How to: Add An Isolation Coat To Your Mixed Media Painting

How To

I’ve realized in my journey with art that there’s a lot of need for basic information like this one on how to apply an isolation coat, so I’m adding a new series of posts that I’ll contribute to as I learn new things.  I’m calling it: How To: A Series of Helpful Hints.  We could all use a little a help, right?  It’s my hope in this series to pass along some good information in a way that is easy for everyone to understand.

For example: I didn’t even know what an isolation coat was until I spoke to someone at Golden products!  I wanted to find a way to seal my art work that included painting + collaging materials and it seemed like there were a lot of opinions out there.   I wanted certain steps I can take to ensure that my art won’t look crappy after a few years–I don’t want to sell something and have people come back to me disappointed in the quality.

How to add an isolation coat to your mixed media painting. Use this technique to protect your artwork!

Enter: the isolation coat.  This kind of top coat is used to create a barrier between your work and the final top coat, which is often varnishing. (I’ll get to that in another post)

And there are different materials you can use for an isolation coat, mine focuses on what to use for acrylic paints and collage.  As a basic rule,  any work should always be kept out of direct sunlight.  It only speeds up the natural decomposition of things.

Just a word of caution:  If you scan or take pictures of your pieces for reproduction, it’s best to do that first before adding the isolation coat to avoid the shiny glare in pictures.

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So here’s my process:

I took a completely dry and finished painting + cleaned it off with a damp cloth to make sure there’s no dust or other goop lurking on the surface, especially on the collage elements.

How to add and isolation coat

I got my supplies ready:

  • Golden soft gel gloss (any other finish will dull the colors)
  • Distilled water
  • Soft, large brush
  • Palette knife used to stir

How to add and isolation coat

In a glass cup, I combined 2 parts soft gel gloss to 1 part distilled water and then mixed with the knife.  Depending on how many pieces you are coating, you can gauge the amount you need.  The tech guy at Golden said to go by how it feels–not too runny, not too thick–it will all be a personal preference type of consistency.

Once I mixed that together, I started applying the mixture evenly and quickly with the soft brush to the entire piece.  An important thing to remember is finish a section and keep moving; do not go back over it, as tempted as you may be!  It will cause the finish to have an uneven “pulled-look”.

Here is a view of what it looks like while applying, it appears a little cloudy, but don’t panic–as long as you use the gloss finish, it will dry clear:

How to add and isolation coat

You can see the strokes, right?  To a certain extent, that will disappear.  If you have a really soft brush, you won’t see many strokes, if at all.  I learned through this process, and seeing some strokes on the finished piece, that I need a new softer brush!

When it dried, this is what it looked like.  The colors are so bright, right?

How to add and isolation coat

And here’s the side view in the sun to show you what I mean about visible brush strokes:

How to add and isolation coat

This was a great learning process for me!  Even though I feel like the brush I used was a little bit of a fail, it still gave me a beautiful finished product– it’s glossy and it really makes the colors pop off the canvas, not to mention it gives the piece a new layer of protection.  And any unused part of the coat mixture can be used again, if you keep it in a sealed container.

Are you looking to connect with other like-minded creatives?  Join my private Facebook Group Here!

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How to: Add An Isolation Coat To Your Mixed Media Painting2018-04-08T20:39:17-04:00
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