Friday, January 20, 2012

Red-headed Girl - Painted Masonite Canvas Step by Step

This is a project I painted for my niece, Madison. I thought I'd show you how I design a painted project, from idea to completion.

The photos above and below are from my personal art journal. I knew I wanted to do a design for my niece, and I was playing around with characters. As you can see, I decided that I like that one shoulder up pose, but I was playing with faces. For me, projects like this are best when I do a couple of trial runs in my journal.

My niece was moving into a new room decorated in green and purple, so that directed the color of the design. I used acrylic craft paint for the entire design.  I like to design with multiple elements and textures. The border of this is a harlequin print, and the center is a wash of bright apple green. I used a masonite "canvas" in 11" x 14" size.

Next, I added vines (with a liner brush) and leaves (with a #8 Filbert brush), around the inside of the harlequin design.

I added white accents around the vines and lining the leaves, again with the liner brush.

I filled in the harlequin checks with purple, and painted the edges of the canvas in green.

With the liner brush, I added gold wavy lines around the harlequin checks.

The final step was to use stamps with paint (I used old Paintability stamps, a company I owned with Tracia Williams years ago, but any rubber stamp will work with acrylic paint. Just apply the paint with a rubber cosmetic sponge, and make sure that you don't get any blotches of paint that will distort the design.) I used Gold paint for this, because I wanted to add texture and shine but I didn't want it to overwhelm the main design.

Next, I drew the design freehand with a pencil, and then painted the base colors. I had to block out the background, so this took two layers of paint.

You can see that I added red hair (my niece has red hair), and details to the bow, and he fabric design.

I painted in the face details, hair, and lined her clothes, the bow, and the skin with a thin line of black.

The final step was to add a Satin Varnish over the entire design after it had dried. I also painted a message to my niece around the outside of the canvas, but that was private, so it isn't shown here.


  1. Love your blog... what a great background..I too paint but sadly only when i dont have anything else to do.. glad I found your blog.. you can link up with mine

  2. This is beautiful! Thanks for joining me at Living Truth. I also have a women's ministry blog where I post things specifically for women. If you like scrapbooking or crafts I can also be found at Martha's Digital Creations. Thanks again and I'm your newest follower.

  3. It's great! Very cute! I bet your niece loves it!

  4. Hi Tera, Thanks for visiting my blog Heart to Heart at Home and following. I love this blog, so cute and interesting, great DIY. I followed back. You may also like my other blog:
    Cheryl :)

  5. So pretty. You are amazingly talented.
    Thanks for visiting my blog.

  6. It's gorgeous!!

    thanks for dropping by my blog. I'm following on GFC and added u to my Gplus circles. Keep in touch!

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka
    Join in weekly: Wordless Wednesday Linky Party

  7. You have a very unique style. Loved that you were on Christopher Lowell's show. I used to be a huge fan of his when he was on

  8. very nice artwork. Following back - looking forward to some art inspiration!

  9. beautiful!!! I hope your new week is filled with happy xo

  10. That's gorgeous! Hi! Thank you so much for following my blog! I am returning the favor. If you are ever interested in a Blog Makeover please take a look at my portfolio and packages when you get a chance. I hope you have an awesome day!

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