Hey friends, what’ve you been up to lately? I’ve been feeling artsy lately. That shouldn’t be any surprise. I only spent six years in high school and college studying and making art on a daily basis. Then I went out and got a practical career as a paralegal with a background in finance and taxes. Needless to say, I miss my art. I happen to love impressionist paintings, but I was never very good at it. I am much better at realism, specifically realistic pencil and charcoal drawings. So, when I saw a printed canvas at Target last weekend, I snatched it up. The picture was lovely but it was so obviously not a painting once I hung it up in my foyer. This is how I took a print to painting: real art on a poster budget. Woop!
This is what it looked like before: Pretty, but flat. Flat colors, no real texture, just a sad, printed canvas pretending to be a painting. I got this set of three for $59 at Target. Together, they make up a 36″ by 36″ set. Sadly, I believe this set is sold out at Target because I couldn’t find it to link up for you. But, I really like this version at Wayfair.
It’s kind of blah, right? Here is an up close version of the printed two-dimensional “texture” that looks ridiculous in real life. Notice how the wall to the right behind the painting has more actual texture? Yeah, I’m about to remedy that!
Never fear! Liquitex Gloss Heavy Gel Medium (affiliate link) is to the rescue! Think of it as clear gel paint in a high gloss finish. It gives the print a paint-like texture and the high gloss makes it look like an oil painting even after drying. The brights are brighter and the darks are deeper. No, this isn’t a laundry detergent commercial. First pick out your favorite print at the nearest Target or Home Goods and test an edge with the gel medium. You are testing to prove to yourself that it will dry clear and that the canvas isn’t so thin that it will wrinkle. Sorry, but this won’t work on a paper print, only fabric. I love this one if you are wanting a beachy look.
Paint a light coat over the entire print, then follow up with thicker brush strokes over the brighter patterns. Try to reproduce the painting’s brush strokes as much as possible to give it authenticity. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect, it WILL dry clear, remember?
I know it looks funny now, but wait until it dries. See the big globs of white below? That is where I put extra thick swipes of the medium to match the really bold paint strokes from the original print. It is okay to wait for it to be almost dry (and therefore transparent) again in order to match up the painting. The more you layer, the more authentic it will look in the end.
Linked up on: Remodelaholic.com