6 Steps to Awesome Canvas Art Even If You Suck at Painting
There are people out there destroying the odds everyday. Logically, there is no way Stevie Wonder should be able to play the piano, yet he’s unbelievably amazing. One of my best friends in the world Amanda (Mandy), suffered a tragic accident causing her to lose most of the use of her legs, yet she makes her living doing Spartan Races and is absolutely crushing life! Amanda’s husband Todd is a former Marine and lost both legs and his arm in Afghanistan yet, he spends time, skiing, sky-diving and literally wrestling alligators! These newlyweds are two of the most alive and inspiring people on the planet!
Us at the beach last summer!
One of my favorite couples!
People have found ways to innovate, ways to adapt, and use whatever holds them back to catapult them forward.
Now, I’m not a rockstar dazzling millions like Stevie, unless I’m alone in the car :), nor will I be wrestling alligators or running marathons like Todd and Mandy, but I, in my own small way, am always searching for ways to compensate for skills I lack despite obstacles that stand in my way.
That’s what today’s post is about. I am not minimizing the insanely difficult things others have to overcome rather I’m saying we can all innovate and create beauty in an abundance of ways big and small!
When it comes to design my whole mission is always to get the best quality result with the most ease. For me, challenge forces creativity. I’ve learn TONS along the way including how to become an instant artist …even though I suck at painting! Haha!
Check out these two 24×36 canvas art pieces I did for a client in a recent project.
You can see I did canvases on both sides of the wall so I created a total of 4 canvases.
I am going to show you in 6 steps exactly what I did. The three best things about this project:
- It’s easy.
- It’s cheap (under $200). That may seem expensive until you check out how much large scale art runs on a site like Great Big Canvas, and my art was significantly larger than the sample here.
- It’s applicable to any color palette and can be done in many different sizes.
Even though my painting skills are ZERO here’s the skinny:
- Sample sized latex paint (Home Depot)
- 4-24×36 inche canvases (Michael’s Arts & Crafts)
- wall decal (Amazon)
- credit card or squeegee (my wallet!)
- 4 or 6 inch foam rollers (Home Depot)
- mini paint tray or paper plate (Home Depot)
- exacto knife or scissors
Step 1: I got my canvases. Now me, always on the lookout for a good deal, caught a sale at Michael’s Arts & Crafts Store. 70% off all canvases! I got all four 24×36 inch canvases for under $70! C’mon!!! If you sign up for their newsletter, they send deals like this all the time! I laid the canvases side by side to make them easier to paint. To save time, I painted one color at a time. So I ended up painting 2 beige canvases and then 2 silver ones.
I wanted to break up my art pieces into sets of two because that was something the client wanted and their large amount of negative wall space (giant blank spots in the wall where art or decor can be hung) was begging for some over-sized art! In a smaller space you could obviously do smaller scale canvases.
Step 2: Select and buy paint. You don’t need a lot of paint for this project. I got my paint from Home Depot (standard latex wall paint) and didn’t come close to using what was in the sample size. We were going for a soothing, light, tranquil feel in the space, so I choose Glidden’s Antique Alencon Lace and Glidden’s Silver Cloud in an eggshell finish my for canvas colors. The canvases were going against a light seafoam green accent box in the background so keeping the beige and silver made sense when thinking about the overall feel of the room.
The samples were under about $3.50 each.
Step 3: You should note, I haven’t actually started painting yet. First I needed to apply the decal (I inserted this video clip because I found it useful while I was working). This was the trickiest part for me for a few reasons. Decals are usually meant to go on walls so pushing them hard on the canvas was nerve-wracking because I didn’t want to rip the canvases or mess up the decals.
Also, the decals were large-scale because I wanted them to go across two large canvases but making sure they were aligned and cutting the places where the two canvases met was difficult with scissors. An exacto knife would’ve been better. When I was done with this step, I had white decals on white canvases.
If you look closely you can see the outline of the decal.
Two Important Tips:
*One- Do NOT to wait to do the project once the decals arrive. The longer they sit the harder they are to apply ( I learned the hard way).
*Two- Make sure when you order your decal that the pieces are individual. If the decal comes adhered to any sort of backing that will go on the wall when it’s finished the project won’t work. Each piece has to be individual.
Step 4: Once the decals were applied, I smoothed them over several times making sure there were no air bubbles or loose edges. At this point each canvas belonged to a set and I painted the canvases beige and silver respectively and let them dry overnight.
I chose to paint my canvases 1 beige and 1 silver in each set for more visual interest but it is not necessary.
Step 5: Now it starts to get fun because you can see the project coming together! The next day I laid the canvases out and peeled off the decals. It might be useful to have an extra set of eyes to make sure you don’t miss any pieces. I missed a couple but the client’s daughter caught them for me!
This is where I started to feel like an artist!!
Step 6: Hang! Since these were going up high, we let the contractor hang them but they’re lightweight and don’t require a contractor if you’re not scared of heights or are hanging them closer to the ground.
There’s no way I have the skills to be an artist and yet here’s an original art piece made by me hanging in a client’s home!