Acrylic Picture Paintings on Photographs and Mat Boards

Do you remember this post where I said that Carol, my sister, was way worse than me when she gets onto a crafting obsession? One time I took a class on painting on a frame mat. I’m sure everyone has seen them. You put a mat on a picture and then paint the mat to match the picture. I had a picture of a covered bridge and then painted the picture out from there onto the mat. I showed Carol how to do the painting and she took it to a whole new level. She went off on a tangent. She painted dozens of these paintings. I painted one. ONE, I tell you. ONE!

Anyway, I thought I’d give a little HOW TO DO IT. Here is how it’s done:
1. Take a picture you really like. If it’s a picture of a person I make sure there is stuff around the person to paint as in the picture below. There are plants to paint and a brick walk.
2. Glue the picture onto the back of a mat. You can use a single or a double mat. The picture below uses a double mat.

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3. Buy some acrylic paints. You won’t be able to find the exact colors you need so you’ll have to mix them. Make sure you have some good darks, even black, white, yellow, a warm red, and some greens which you can adjust with yellow to the shades you need. Oh, and yellow. Ultramarine blue is a good blue to have. I make almost all my greens with ultramarine blue and different yellows.
4. Start with the darks and try to match the darks in the picture (Hank, art teacher, always had us start with the darks.)  You can make a really great dark color (but not black – Hank rarely used black) by mixing ultramarine blue and burnt sienna. Mix them together equally and you will have a wonderful and colorful dark paint color. Then just work around the mat closest to the photo. Match each color as best you can. It’s not going to be perfect.
5. When you get the whole mat painted, put some of the paint onto the actual photograph, too. It will make the whole thing look cohesive and like it was all painted not just the edges.

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The idea is to make it look like all one picture…all one painting, really.
My sister lives near the Amish in Pennsylvania. We go there all the time when I visit.

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My sister’s grandson, Johnny, on a sled..

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Here is a painting of Carols’ granddaughter, Emily. The good thing about these paintings, other than that they are fun, is that you don’t have to paint faces. The face is in the photograph. You just have to paint the stuff around the face. Pretty easy.

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This is what Carol has to say about doing these paintings.
“Oh remember, I screwed up my neck ... had to go for months for therapy... I did 3 or 4 paintings every night on a flat desk...  looking down for so long hurt my neck.
I could use something like that again... well, not to screw up my neck though.”
 
It sounds like Carol needs craft therapy. She’s been selling on Ebay and that has been her newest obsession.
She’s going through her house selling everything and anything. What happens when you have nothing left to sell, Carol?

Anyway, this post was not supposed to be about Carol’s paintings. No, it was about the level to which we each go when we get excited about a new craft.
It’s far. Believe me. It doesn’t have to be a craft either. One time Carol came to visit on the train from Pennsylvania with all her kids (5). We went to Woolworth’s and they had a sale on African Violets. I think they were 4 for $1. We bought almost all the plants they had.  But first we had to POUR over that counter looking at each and every violet and the quality and quantity of each one’s flowers, etc. And then we bought almost all of them anyway. We must have had 25 or 30 tiny African Violets. We left a few straggly plants. You have no idea how we were INTO these tiny plants. And when we got home we went over them all again, what we could do with them and who we would give them to, etc. You get the picture.

If you make these paintings, don’t screw up your neck doing 3 or 4 a night, okay?
And try to squeeze every bit of summer goodness out of the rest of August…..       I am.

picture paintingCollage made from a free program called Photoscape.

Best wishes,

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I am the crafter extraordinaire (on this blog anyway.) I live with my husband, my son, David, in a cozy cape cod style house in Connecticut.

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