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: