Remember when I teased you with pictures of a painty mess? Well today I am super-excited to show you what I painted… and yes, if you can paint a wall, you can paint this dog silhouette art. I promise.
But first, a little background. In our new house, my little man, YMGP, lucked out. There is a very large bonus room that is his very own playroom. He loves it, and I do too, but it currently isn’t very inspiring. It is home, of course, to a lot of toys, but also to some old olive green couches and stark cream colored walls. Even though we are renting and can’t paint the walls, I want his space to be inviting, engaging and to inspire him to play and create. So, as you read above, I am going to pimp his playroom. I am going to show you the first project for this room today, but I also wanted to add a disclaimer… I don’t really have a grand plan for the room yet. I have lots of ideas, but am not yet sure how it is going to come together. Therefore, “pimp my playroom” posts may be a little sporadic.
So, as I said before, I am not an artist. I can’t draw, I have never taken an art class and I know nothing whatsoever about painting. But, I love to experiment, so I gave painting a shot. Here is how that little experiment turned out.
Did I mention that YMGP loves dogs?
I used skills that I have developed painting walls to make those dog silhouette canvases for the playroom walls. It was so much easier than I thought it would be. Here is how I did it.
I started with a yard stick and some painter’s tape. I measured and placed a strip of painter’s tape every 1.5 inches to make horizontal stripes across the 16×20 canvases that I picked up for around $4 a piece a the craft store. I used the first canvas as a template for the other three, so I only had to measure once.
Then I painted the stripes with acrylic paint. I had some help with this part. Hey, they are for his playroom, he should get to contribute, right?
Once they were all painted and dry, I removed the tape.
If you look closely, you may notice that I didn’t get the cleanest paint lines ever. Some paint leaked in through the fine texture of the canvas. I decided not to worry about it – it seemed to add a little character.
While they were drying, I got to work on the dog silhouettes. I wanted four different dogs, and at least one of them to look like our dog, a boxer. I downloaded a stock vector image containing a bunch of dog silhouettes and picked out four dogs. I enlarged them to fit the canvas trying to scale them to the size of the dog. I used the tile setting to print them out across four sheets of paper.
I taped the sheets together to make a pattern, and used some painters tape to hold the pattern in place.
I put embroidery tracing paper (it’s what I had on hand) in between the pattern and the canvas and carefully traced the outline of the dog.
I ended up with a solid, but kinda tough to see line. So I traced it with a sharpie.
Then I painted the inside of the silhouette black with acrylic paint.
Did I just make that sound easy? It wasn’t. Honestly, I was terrified. I can barely color inside the lines with a crayon, forget about painting inside lines. But, being a good experimentalist, I took a step back and thought about what I could do. I could paint a wall. When you paint a wall and you need to keep paint inside a line (say off a ceiling) you cut in, right? That is exactly how I approached filling in my dogs. I cut in with a medium sized artist brush along the edges and filled in the rest with a foam brush. Surprisingly, I did a good job.
The secret? The sharpie lines. They were thick enough to give me a little room for error. Also, if I left a small gap, or there was a detail I didn’t have the guts to attempt, I could go back and fill in the spots with my sharpie after I was done. I am sure if you got the right angle and the right light you could see the difference in color between the sharpie and the paint, but I haven’t been able to see it yet.
By the time I was done painting my dog silhouette art, I was feeling like a regular artist.
I just love them. More importantly, YMGP loves them. Every morning as we head downstairs for breakfast he points across the house into his playroom where he can see the paintings and exclaims “dog-dog” with a big ol’ grin. That is the only critique I need.
I can’t wait to continue decorating his playroom.
So, can you paint a wall? Great! Just tape and cut in and you can make adorable dog silhouette art too!
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