I made this painting as an entry for round one of the 2013 One Crafty Contest. I’m so proud of how it turned out, and it was good enough to get me voted to the next round! A BIG thanks to those who voted!! Would you believe me if I told you I didn’t use a paintbrush? Ok, so I did use a foam brush to paint the black background, but the sunset was painted with water. What? Water? Yep! Keep reading, and I’ll tell you how!
First I needed to make my stencils to create the tree and jumping boy silhouettes. I don’t own a Cricut or a Silhouette cutting machine (oh, how I wish I did!), so I freehanded the shapes on the back of vinyl and carefully cut them out with a sharp scissors.
(The in-progress shots aren’t the best quality since they were taken in bad lighting late at night. It’s the best time to work, since both of my boys are sleeping!)
I painted my canvas completely black with a foam brush, let it dry, and put the vinyl stencils on. I actually really liked how it looked at this point with the black and white contrast. The contest required us to feature paint in our entry, so one layer of black paint wasn’t going to cut it!
I did a few things to ensure my stencils would come away with clean lines. I used a credit card to smooth down the vinyl and get all the bumps and bubbles out. I put a lot of pressure on the edges of the stencils to make sure they really stuck. Then I painted another layer of black over the entire canvas and the stencils. That way if any color was going to bleed under the stencil it would be the color that was already there! This technique works well when you’re painting designs with painter’s tape too. The second layer of paint also helped glue the stencils down and provided a barrier for the next step.
After everything dried, I used a spray bottle filled with water to completely soak my canvas. I was a little nervous about this step not knowing if my stencils would hold on, but they did. I squeezed my paint directly on the canvas and used the spray bottle as my paintbrush to push the paint around. It’s amazing all the ways you can manipulate paint with water! A light misting will blend colors, a sideways stream will move the paint, and a heavy soaking will streak the paint. I had a lot of fun experimenting with the spray bottle. In the picture above, the paint is still wet and heavily soaked with water. It took a really long time to dry!
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