Retro Photo Canvas
Looking for a great gift this holiday season? Transfer a photo to canvas for wall art with a neat retro look. This fun and creative project makes a unique present for those special people on your Christmas list.
· Photo (a high contrast color photo with a retro feel works great for this treatment)
· Acrylic gel medium (available at art or craft store)
· Wrapped, gesso-ed canvas (available at art or craft store). Your canvas needs to be slightly smaller than the color copy size you plan to use, so if you're printing an 8 ½ x 11 color copy, then an 8x10 canvas will be perfect. This is the size used in this example.
If your photo is not digital, take it to your local FedEx Office® store and have it scanned to a digital file. You'll need to reverse the digital image so that it is a mirror image of the original. Have a color copy or color laser print made of your image.
Spread a thin layer of the acrylic medium all over the canvas, using a brush or your fingers. Carefully place the copy, face down, on the canvas and adhere it completely. Let this dry for several hours, making sure the gel medium is totally dry and that the paper is fully adhered.
Run the paper briefly under water to wet it fully and using your finger, rub the paper to begin removing the fibers. Keeping a cup of water nearby is helpful so that you can keep dipping your finger in as the canvas dries. This process will likely take a while and when you think you're done, let it dry and see if you need to repeat the process. Don't worry about perfection here, you'll find that you can see canvas through the image in a few places, but that's part of the retro look. However, be very careful around important details, like faces… rub gently here!
Let the piece fully dry, and check for any remaining paper fibers.
Optional: You can paint around the sides of the canvas in black paint to give the piece a nice finished look, or even do something interesting, like silver leaf.
You can then coat the entire project in your clear acrylic to give it a nice finish.
Photo "Stealing a Kiss" by Sarah Howell, Kimball Bates Photography (www.kimballbates.com). Used with Permission.
Nancy Dorsner is a web designer and blogger. Her blog, Dabbled – Experiments in Art, Craft & Food, is all about trying something new and being creative, and specializes in upcycling & recycling craft ideas. FedEx Office is compensating Nancy to share her ideas for creative projects on the Out of Office blog.