There is something peculiar I have noticed about myself. I am notorious for getting 80 percent done with a project and taking a year to finish the last 20 percent. I am sure it says something about my personality, so if you have a theory you can fill me in. I’d like to blame it on the fact that at this season in life I have two young kids, but I’m pretty sure its a quirk I’ve had my whole life. My roommate in college used to give me a hard time for being in the middle of 5 books and never finishing any. Still guilty.
This is one of those projects. I even hung it up on my wall in our bedroom 80 percent done and it stayed there for about a year. I will say in my defense, having two small kids does work against my hobby of getting paints out and spreading them all over the floor with brushes, paper plates and cups of water. The last thing I want is little fingers spreading blue acrylic all over the couch, Ikea or not.
So I had and evening when my husband was going to be out of town and I decided to seize that opportunity to take this one to 100 percent! I had some time to myself once the kids were asleep to get out the easel and drop cloths and get this thing done!
Here is the first 80 percent . . .
Yes, thats right, it hung on the wall like this for a year. You may be thinking it looks like its done, but its missing the Golden Gate Bridge and the text, which was the whole point of me doing this painting! When David and I got married, one of the songs we had in our wedding was Josh Turner’s “Would You Go With Me” and I wanted to put some of the lyrics in a painting with a shot of the Golden Gate Bridge because, well, it has significance for us. We left everything we had and raised support to travel to the Bay Area to join a team who had planted a church to change the world for Jesus. Read about it here.
Anyways, on with the project. In the past I used to have letters printed at a print shop on vinyl but for this one I went with a prepackaged set of letters from Michaels. Here are some pics to show how I did it.
After the letters were attached and I had put the gesso coating over them I knew I needed to let them dry well in order to do the second coat of gesso. It does dry quickly though.The other think to be mindful of is if you have just painted the under layer of paint, you might want to let it dry overnight if you can. For me, I had let it dry for a year so it was good to go. Its hard to be patient but you don’t want to jump the gun on an art project like this because you run the risk of ruining it for saving a few minutes. So as it was drying I worked on finishing the bridge on the other side of the canvas.
Once both coats of gesso are dry, you are free to begin covering over it with paint. Just be careful of two things:
One, if you cover too heavily or too hastily you will have some bleed through like you see below. Sometimes the paint comes through under the letters which is meh. You can paint over the bleed through with white if you have just white underneath, but on this one I couldn’t because the color underneath was a mixture of several blues and I knew there was no way to match it so I didn’t try. I just tried as best I could to cut out the excess paint with an exact knife without cutting the canvas. It works ok, but definitely better to just avoid the bleed-through altogether if possible.
Two, be careful to make sure you have enough color contrast on the paint. If you don’t have enough contrast, you will not be able to read the text when its done.
So here it is, the finished product. I included the pic I printed from Google images as my guide. And no, I did not include the dog. Sorry puppy but I don’t know who you are and you definitely don’t belong in my bedroom.