Monday, December 9, 2013

Recycled Canvas: Deer Head

We had a spot in our house that needed a little Christmas cheer but I didn't want to spend money on another Made in China decoration. So I found a painting that I really wasn't happy with and used it as my base for a Christmas canvas. 

Here's the original canvas, yes, it could be finished into something cool, but it would take a ton of work.

Since the deer trend is still going strong, and everyone has a tutorial for it, I'm not really sure if it's worth sharing another, or for that matter who to credit other than, well, everyone + Pinterest.  But I will give thanks to the most recent tutorials I've enjoyed and been inspired by. Thanks to Margie (see my last post with those other deer heads I made) and to Lolly Jane.

Here's how I did mine:

I made a huge buck head stencil and mask with an image I found online. I used my projector because there is no way I could free hand this and a giant sheet of bristol paper. Now I have a giant deer head stencil. I can see spray painting this on everything!

Use wash tape to secure the head to the canvas and trace around it. I have better luck tracing masks rather than stencils but it's up to you.

Add washi tape to mask off stripes.

Using a smaller brush, paint around the outline where the black stripes will be. You always want to paint away from the tape not towards it. 

Fill in the black lines with a larger brush. Since the background is so fun I didn't do a 'perfect' job painting the black lines. If the nooks and crannies stayed unpainted it was okay by me. I also didn't refill my brush towards the outside edges so it would have more background showing through.

This step was unnecessary but I wanted to get a sense of the deer head so I painted it with white acrylic. Since I was going to be painting it with blue acrylic I didn't really need to do this.
FWIW, it still looks pretty crazy.

Paint the head (not the antlers) blue. 
The white paint was still wet and it created a lot of nice variation in the color.

Add in some darker (ultramarine) blue to the left side, defining the shape a bit.

Then I blended in some light teal paint to bring the two colors into harmony.

There was a lot of blue paint leftover on my craft mat so I grabbed some tags and a stencil and used up the paint. I know they'll come in handy.

I brushed Mod Podge, somewhat haphazardly on the antlers and sprinkled them with champagne colored glitter.

Then I covered the colored stripes with a thin layer of gesso applied with a makeup sponge. I chose gesso instead of paint as it allowed the background to show through but to be toned down a lot creating a more cohesive and less jarring piece.

Then I rubbed off some of the black paint with a baby wipe to expose little sections of the background.

Here's pic with me so you can see how big the canvas is

And here it is above our door

I really love adding homemade decorations to our Christmas stash. This will be fun to pull out year after year.

Before and After:


Carmen said...

That is a bonkers deer! And I love it so much :D You could also do prints as Christmas cards!

Carmen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carmen said...

Whoops - sorry for the double post. Also wanted to say - am glad your little monsters were not completely covered and still there in the background :D

Corrie Herriman said...

Great canvas, Nicole. I can see this coming out of the attic every year.
Corrie x

Sparkly Engineer said...

Been a while since I stopped by, but worth the visit. Perfect Christmas decoration and definitely not Made in China

E JAY said...

I loved the before version! so personal and quirky.