do it yourself- photography onto canvas

photography onto canvas

at the end of an assignment, at the end of the week, i take the greatest pleasure in enjoying my photography with my fingertips. a freshly printed masterpiece gives me the most satisfaction, one that i can  pass across a table, put in a frame, attach to a letter or mail with a card. truthfully, i am fickle about frames, they seem never to match the picture, never are they the right size and so on. i love the texture and dimension of canvas. i admired the work of a friend of mine once, a photograph of the mountains, immaculately enlarged and affixed to canvas. i purchased the picture and was forever convinced that i could duplicate the process. turns out i could, and you can too.

materials necessary: 

  1. canvas of any size 
  2. photocopies of photos, at least 20% larger than area of canvas
  3. scissors, scotch tape, cloth napkins, wax paper
  4. container of lukewarm water (large enough to lay photocopies in flat)
  5. non-stick surface for work area
  6. acrylic gloss gel and paintbrush

diy canvas materials

plan to spend one hour each day over three days (dependent on size of photos and canvas) 

day one.

  • cut out photocopies- leaving a border around image is recommended.
  • attach photocopies to a non-stick surface, image side up, completely flat, with scotch tape edge to edge. try not to tape any part of the image- anything taped will not be a part of the final product! this is why a border is recommended.
  • with straight, consistent brushstrokes apply one coat of acrylic gloss gel to image- about 1/4″ thick. the image may buckle and crinkle, paint carefully, while pressing flat as much as possible.
  • leave to dry for one day in a dry, shaded area.

day two.

  • repeat steps 3 and 4.

day three.

  • carefully remove scotch tape from image. remove image from non-stick surface.
  • submerge image, image side up in lukewarm water bowl for fifteen minutes. be very gentle and have patience!
  • lay image side down onto wax paper and use fingertips to scrape off the first layer of paper. be very gentle and have patience!
  • after first layer is removed submerge image again. repeat steps 2, 3, 4 until only the acrylic image remains (may take as many as ten repetitions).
  • when only the image remains, blot completely dry and lay image flat onto wax paper. cover with wax paper and apply weight to the top (a good heavy book). leave to dry for one day. this will become your acrylic transfer.

day four.

  • lay the acrylic transfer over the canvas and decide how you would like it to appear.
  • paint the back of the transfer with gloss gel with consistent brushstrokes and quickly paste it to the canvas. use fingers to quickly spread it flat.
  • allow to dry for one day. 

do it yourself- photography onto canvas.



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