Painting on a print? Can that be done?

ABSOLUTELY!  And I'm going to be the first to tell you it's NOT CHEATING! If you have taken the photo and it is your original idea... it's just saving you a step.

Someone is going to have a hard time convincing me that when the technology of the camera obscura was made available in the 16th century that all those great renaissance painters didn't use it! In fact, portable camera obscuras became an invaluable aid to artists of that time who used them to create drawings with perfect perspective and accurate detail.  So this is just a digital camera obscura technique allowing for a smooth transition from idea to canvas because it is technology available for us today.

This is a really great option for those of us who hate the transfer process... Imagine just for a moment getting a canvas that already has the image you want to paint already on it! How cool would that be?

Ok, I am going to make a confession... I have very little time for my own art and when I want to do it I want to spend my time actually painting. The process of transferring the image onto a blank canvas is just BORING! What I really love is the painting part of the process, the tactile feel of applying the paint, and watching the color come alive on an image I created from my cellphone and computer. That is what I want to spend my creative time on canvas doing, it is the reason I paint... rather than stop at the digital image.

Eureka! It dawned on me a few months back that I could take the composite images I already create and print for reference and print them directly on the canvas and I could get right to the part I LOVE the most.

So I tested it... IT WORKS FANTASTIC! This one step made my life SO much easier and saves me hours of my already limited creative time!

You can use oils or acrylic on the cotton duct canvas which can be stretched traditionally or mounted on a panel. I haven't tried this on our watercolor paper, but that is an option if you are adventurous as well.

Here is my process...

I take a selfie photograph with my cellphone of the basic idea that I have for my piece getting myself in a position and with a few props. This part might take as many as 100 photos to get the right shot that I want to use and it is fun to work this part out.

I spend a great deal of time creating a digital composite clarifying the idea. It is important to get all of those satirical tidbits in just so. This is one of the things I do LOVE to do too.

As you can see I edited the original image, eliminated the door behind me, put some fire on the grill, bottles and cans on the ground, and a shot up gun target behind me and finally changed up the colors and the textures that I wanted to use as my underpainting.

I used to print it out an 8 1/2" x 11 for reference then project the image onto the canvas with a digital projector... I tried everything to get this part easier... no matter how important it is to the final project it is the part I despised... (probably because it WAS so important to get it right.)

Now I just print it out on canvas... EASY PEASY! Everything is ready for me to paint! I've tried it stretched traditionally and mounted on panel... both work fantastic! I do personally prefer the harder surface of the panel.

With the final piece, it still looks like my work even though I cut out the laborious, tedious yet vitally important part I hate. Which makes me not only super happy as an artist but more productive as well!

Oh wait a minute let me take another selfie! 

Give it a try, pic a photo either from your computer or cellphone and upload, order and print on our website!


Upload and Print Your Images and Save Now!

Did that just seem like an overwhelming process?

How about we eliminate the idea and the prep and just get right to the painting?

Occasionally, I run into family members wanting to paint with me. It's a completely romantic situation to sit with an artist and paint in their studio! My process is so involved I couldn't just have them paint with me in the studio for an afternoon...

My solution for this: have them paint a master piece they are already familiar with. I tested this on my long suffering husband. He LOVED it! Having not picked up a paintbrush since high school he was totally engrossed in creating his very own Van Gogh master piece and did a pretty bang up job of it too!

Several masters are now available on our website. Just click the image below.

You can recapture these works in your own hand with your medium of choice and even let your imagination run wild with your own color choices. You can paint on these directly with either acrylic or oils. Just select one of our canvas options as a panel or hand stretched canvas.

There are several sizes to choose from with options. You can start with a cool greyscale or a warm sepia base so you can exact the detail the master has created.

Save time and money! Order the frame with the print. We have specially selected the Hampton 2 3/8" scoop comes in your choice of gold or silver. This moulding features a gilded antique distressed appearance adding a hint of the the American Renaissance. It will be sent with the ability to remove the print for painting and you can easily put the frame back on when you are finished with your product.

You will receive an 8x10 full color reference image with each order.