Thursday, May 5, 2011

A No Longer Blank Canvas

First thanks to all who left comments with ideas of what to do with my canvas - some great ideas that I'm holding onto for future use.

So here's the painting that I made to go in my upstairs hall! Colorful, whimsical, a little childlike - my favorite type of art! Now, this was not my original idea. I have to admit, after I bought my blank canvas I kind of got intimidated by the idea of actually doing something with it. I haven't painted anything other than a wall (and I mean a blank wall) since high school. So I did a little online research, looking for inspiration. And I found this painting from World Market that was PERFECT! And looked totally doable:

Whimsical II from World Market

If you want to make your own, here's what you'll need:

acrylic paints, black paint pens, paintbrushes, and a blank artists canvas as seen here

To begin, you want to paint your background about 3/4 of the way down your canvas. I started with some watered down white paint, then gradually added in blue paint, making it darker as I want down the canvas. I would also add your yellow in the upper corner at this point. I didn't decide until later that I wanted it so I had to go back and add it in.

After that layer of paint was completely dry, I took a wet toothbrush and some black paint and flicked specks all over the canvas. (Now when my husband saw this detail, he asked me if I had spilled something. Oh, well, I guess all true artists have to be a little misunderstood!)

Next, I drew on my buildings, very lightly with a pencil. And started painting. I painted every other one to start.

When those were dry, I went back and finished painting the rest.

Let dry completely, and you can start adding in the details of the buildings with your paint pen. I used both a thick paint pen and a finer one.

Finally, I applied a layer of sealer over the whole thing:

You can hang your finished painting and feel like a very talented artist! My kids are calling this my masterpiece!

Now I have to admit, I felt a little guilty the whole time I was working on this (but I did it anyway). I don't know why I have no problem knocking off clothes and jewelry from Anthropologie or Modcloth but somehow art seemed a little different. If someone were to copy one of my craft "designs", as long as they gave proper credit, I would be flattered. But I'm not sure that same theory holds up with artists. So, where do you draw the line between being "inspired", and outright stealing? If I call this a "reproduction" does that make a difference? Is imitation the sincerest form of flattery? I'd love to hear your thoughts.


  1. I totally love it! You're good!
    The internet is full of inspiration, and I do the same thing.. like the owl I just painted on the wall... I found a picture of the owl on the net.. only I didn't credit it. And I've seen a million other ideas on the net for trees... I don't think its 'knocking off' :) its not like you copied and printed it... or selling it.. its for yourself :)

  2. Don't tell World Market but I like your version more than the original. I do the same thing with greeting cards that I like!

  3. Wow Jenn - yet again you amaze me with your talent!

  4. This is just so very awesome (like all of your projects!!!)
    That's why were are passing the "Lovely Blog Award" along to you.
    Play along if you wish.
    Details here:

  5. Fun painting!! This is beautiful!

  6. As an artist who makes her living by selling her art I'll tell you this.
    First off the "World Market" artist probably lifted it from another artist. You've changed it a lot aren't selling it you put it in your home for personal use.
    The art market has changed....for the worse. I will scream this to anyone who listens...PLEASE don't go to an art show and take a photo of an artists work. They have paid for that booth location to sell their work not give it away. Thanks - thats all.

  7. Looks great! I don't think I could do it though!

  8. I love this!!! Thanks for sharing at Make Something Mondays!

    ~ Sarah

  9. What a great knock off! I've featured this post on Copy Cat Crafts today, you can view it here

    We'd love it if you'd like to display a featured button! You can grab your button on the right hand side of your post. Thanks!