Jan 15, 2012

Personal Art

I decided to do something personal for each grandchild for their birthday.  I started with my grandson, with his birthday coming up in a few months; I had plenty of time, ha......
The Christmas before, I had given him Uncle Milton - Moon in my Room, he loved it.  I also made curtains for his room with planets and stars in the fabric.  When I was considering what to put on the canvas, I decided to stick with that theme.
Here's what I did.

1.  Using acrylics I painted the whole 12x16 canvas gray and blue. I put some random colors, the E for his name with his birthday on the bottom.  I added the moon using a White Texture Effect.
I painted the moon orange;

With all these big ideas from the book to start with, I was stuck.
Tick Tock, October is getting closer.
I gave some thought to the personal side of the project and came up with this.
Original Photo
  2.  I took a recent picture of him that was taken at "Kites In The Park Festival".  That was something to see; hundreds of kites all flying at the same time.

3.  With pse (Photo Shop Element), I edited the photo, by cutting the grass and pasting it around the edge to have just him in the picture.

extracted.png (427×609)

I extracted him from the photo, (leaving the blue around the kite and the tails of the kite), sized it, flipped it, and printed it on white tissue paper. On the canvas, I painted over the gray with white paint to be sure all the colors from the printed photo showed through when it is attached.  Using a sponge brush, I put a light coat of mod podge over the white paint then ever so carefully, place the printed side down onto the canvas, (otherwise the Mod Podge will make your colors bleed).  DAB the tissue paper photo lightly so it does rip and so it doesn't bleed through the top side; let it dry completely, dab on a little heaver coat the second time, and watch for bubbles, after that dries, mod podged over it a few more times. Painting over the mod podge around the photo is a little sticky, just let it completely dry. I mod podged a piece of white thread for the kite string.
extracted+and+flipped.png (421×583)

At this point, I had the moon and my grandson flying his kite.  Tick Tock..... it was September....I wanted more on it and I was fast running out of time; so I bought him more cool planet stuff for his room, again, sticking with the theme, I got him Uncle Milton's Solar System in my Room, with a poster of the solar system.  He loved it.
With the pressure off, I forgot about the project for a month.  Then started thinking about Christmas.
Orange+Moon.png (407×543)

4.  I pulled it back out, and added a pale yellow over the moon and a gloss to make it stand out.  For the stars, I dipped a pen in the same paint color and tapped it onto the canvas around the moon.

While Blog Stalking, I had seen artwork where the artist had done some distress writing on a picture, I thought it looked cool, (I should have read how it was done).  I came up with the poem idea. Back to the artist,  who composes as well.  I asked my daughter to come up with something about flying a kite by moon light. 

She wrote this.
Swallowed by the night
I try to fly my kite
No worries
No fright
I'm saved by the moon light!
  (Written by Deborah Gammeter)

Kind of catchy.

5.  That's when I painted over the E and his birth date. 

For the poem
I used rubber letter art stamps, with an x-Acto knife and I sliced them off of the wood stamps and taped each one to a piece of heavy duty card board, then split the card board into three large stamps.
Practice first on a sheet of paper. 

Most of the letters turned out but some did not.  Back to the artist.  She fixed it!

For Christmas, along with the painting, I gave my grandson a 4x6 copy of the photo framed, so that he could see that it was really him on the large canvas.  The gift was a big hit and looks awesome in his room.

 Thanks for Stopping By!!


  1. It is so nice to see how much you care about your grandson. How long did it take for him realize that it was him in the picture flying the kite? Nice job.

    1. When he was opening gifts, the picture was about the last thing on his mind. He got some cool toys. He told me on the phone after I was home how much loved the picture and the poem.