I’ve had several canvas art projects pinned to my Pinterest craft board for MONTHS. My favorites involved silhouettes, but the instructions invariably called for purchasing vinyl cutouts. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t just PAINT a silhouette onto the canvas, because, you know, paint is cheap. And in my garage.
Finally, I painted a clearance-rack canvas with a couple of coats of red that I had left from another project. (The canvas had cost like $2 at Target, and featured a starfish, which I somehow thought would look good in my guest bedroom, only no.)
Silhouette time. I can’t tell you exactly where I found the stencil, but if you make sure your virus protection is updated and google “free stencils,” you’ll find tons of candidates.
I chose a bird, partly because it looked easy to cut out and partly because of Porlandia’s “put a bird on it” spoof.
I printed out the stencil and carefully cut out the design with scissors. I debated whether to try to transfer the stencil to wax paper or foil for cleaner painting, but decided that the paint likely wouldn’t go through the paper. And if it did, I could just paint everything black and make silver birds later.
Accidental Craftiness 101: Plan for Failure.
The design fit almost PERFECTLY on the canvas. I only had to cut out a 2-inch slip of paper to extend the branch all the way across. I folded over the ends of the branch and taped them down on the sides of the canvas.
After squeezing some black paint onto a Styrofoam plate (I know: paint in a tube – fancy, right?), I got to the messy part. Since I didn’t want to tape the edges of the design down on the front of the canvas (more from a fear of having the red paint lift off with the tape than concerns about the final design), I held down the edges of the paper as I painted around them. I made sure to move the brush out from the edges of the paper, rather than toward the edges, to avoid pushing paint underneath the paper. (And I’m not even sure how I knew to do that. It’s like the time I knew to stick straight pins in the drooping flowers at my future sister-in-law’s wedding shower and I was certain I had been possessed by Martha Stewart.)
I call this the messy part because HOW MUCH black paint did I get on my fingers?
A LOT. I probably should have taken a picture of THAT, only it wouldn’t be that much different from a picture of the normal state of my hands. Today, for example, I have eyeliner under two of my left fingernails. EYELINER.
After completely surrounding the silhouette pattern with black paint, I carefully pulled away the tape and lifted the paper off of the canvas. Voila … a sharp bird silhouette. My next decision was whether to try to leave a subtle black aura around the silhouette or fill in the rest of the canvas. I’m not good at subtlety, and even as I was telling the husband about my decision-making process I was filling the canvas with black paint.
A completed craft project with no cuts, bruises, broken fingernails or glue-gun injuries? WIN. Now I just have to decide where to hang it.