JULY 21ST, 2008 10:49PM PST 

Today we're thrilled to share a guest tutorial from Etsy seller and blogger JanniePie! Her faded canvases are great for walls and corners where you need a punch of color. I like this project because it can be as simple or complex as you want it to be. Stick to the tutorial or branch out by adding designs or collage work. If you enjoy her canvas triptych head over to her blog for more DIYs!

DIY canvas paintings: (jannypie) Canvas paintings are the easiest and cheapest way to fill a wall with art! And they can be as simple or complex as you (and your painting talent) want it to be. Anyone can do a simple solid canvas, or add stripes, shapes, simple designs, etc.

Generally, you just need a canvas of your desired size, paint, and painters tape. Canvases can be found inexpensively at any craft store and come in numerous sizes. I always recommend using acrylic paints: they dry quickly, are washable with soap and water, and easy to use. Oils are more difficult, they take at least 24 hours to dry, and have to be washed using paint thinner. Oils do have a deeper, richer feel, however, so if you have the time and patience you may choose to try them.

To create your painting, come up with or find a design you want, assemble your materials, and be sure to paint on newspaper or a drop cloth. If painting lines or shapes, tape off the different areas of color using the painters tape. It may be helpful to go over the edge of the painters tape with a clear sealant so the paint doesn’t bleed under. Paint your area and let dry, then pull off the tape from that area and outline the next. Continue painting your stripes, letting each color dry completely in between, until you’re finished!

Edges: The sides of your canvas can be finished in a number of ways. Obviously, you can frame your art, and the sides won’t show. If you aren’t interested in framing, the sides of the canvas will show. I like to paint the sides a solid color (black) which creates a visual frame around the painting. You can also wrap your colors around the sides, so whatever color you have painted on the surface, just continue that color around along the side as well. Or, you can leave the sides unpainted, which will lend an “artsy, unfinished” look to it. A final way to finish the sides would be to put thin pieces of wood trim to fit around the edges and paint them.

Fading your paint colors: Start with a dry paintbrush, dip it into the lightest color, and paint that on the top about 1/4 of the way down. While it is still wet, dip the brush into the next color and start about 1/3 of the way down, and paint up into the light color, blending it in as you go and stopping before reaching the top. Wipe the brush off a little, dip it in color 2 again, start where that color began on the painting (1/3 down the canvas) then paint downwards. Then go to the next darkest color and paint up into it, again blending as you go. The hardest part is blending them before they dry. Just remember it's easier to go from light to dark, so if your picture looks a little light at first you can always go back over it with darker colors. And just drag the brush side to side along the canvas to blend in the colors.

Additional Ideas:

*This would be a great project for supervised children. Use a glitter shaker and apply glitter directly after the last paint coat to give it a playful sheen.

*To protect your painting from sunlight, or to seal in glitter and other collage elements, finish your painting off with a shot of Krylon UV protective spray.

*Use your finished canvas as a background. Do you have a favorite love letter, passage or poem? Use this transfer technique to apply the words to your canvas. The sheet music to a special song would look beautiful as well!

Additional Links:

*I love the rich greens in this faded canvas by Sneddonia.

*The teal circles on this faded canvas by shannaleigh practically jump off the wall.

*Try hanging your faded canvas so that the colors run vertically as in this piece by Pete the Painter.

5 Responses to “Faded Canvas Triptych”

  1. Liz Says:

    What a great post! Fab ideas.

  2. Karen Says:

    What a great tutorial — I have a few old canvases lying around that I was planning to cover or re-paint…this would be great for them!

  3. Sarah Says:

    I love this idea. I think I could actually do this!

  4. adult friend Says:

    adult friend…

    Cool topic…I thought about your points and must say I agree with a lot of what you mentioned. I’m going to share your blog with my loyal readers. …

  5. Katie Says:

    I think this would be really neat to use as woods floor and fog and then paint some trees in

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