Showing posts with label outdoors. Show all posts
Showing posts with label outdoors. Show all posts

Sunday, December 29, 2013

DIY: Painting from Vintage Book Covers

Well, I hope ya'll just had the very best holiday ever and that Santa was super good to you. All I can say is that I musta been totally well-behaved this year (and that Santa has lowered his expectations of acceptable behavior) because I really scored. I don't wanna brag but if you happen to notice my photos are just a pinch better it's because the hubs upgraded my dropped-more-times-than-I-can-remember/seven-year-old camera to some super fly thing. Thankfully it doesn't have too many bells and whistles that require extensive manual reading. Because, let's be sexist, the only person who reads manuals are the Man. For the ladies, well, there's pinterest. So you know I've already pinned "25 Super Cute Ways to Snap Super Cute Pictures While Attempting to Look Super Cute".

Speaking of The Hubs, he requested a certain handmade giftie for Christmas. He's always loved the outdoors, especially hiking and camping. Recently, he's been reading some vintage outdoorsy books with just the best covers ever. His request: paintings of the book covers.  
The photo on the left shows the original book cover I worked from. We don't own either of these books (the first editions sell for a couple hundred dollars on ebay) so I worked from images found online. My 14" X 16" painting is on the right. Even though this painting took longer because of the extra layer of color added, I'm not gonna lie, it's my fave.

For the cover of this book, I attempted to antique the canvas a little by scrapping it with a wiry brush. You can kinda see that effect at the bottom. I'm not sure if I love it but when I'm done with a project, I'm, like, done

By the way, painting these camping books has me remembering all sorts of outdoorsy adventures. Like the time my mom took me and my cousins camping on the grounds of the theme park Indiana Beach (do I have any Hoosiers in the house? Can I get a "There's more than Corn in Indy-Ana!" Which is true. There's also corny song writers.) We had an army green canvas tent exactly like the one on the cover of this book. Unfortunately, because all of us were Girl Scout Dropouts, we had no idea how to put the thing up and so, in the middle of the night when it began to rain, all of the aluminum poles collapsed on my side of the tent. And, if you know anything about canvas tents (which I did not), you are never supposed to touch them once they are wet because then the water drips in. And it did. Again, on my side of the tent. Moral of story: Don't go camping with my mother. In Indiana. In the rain. Ever.

Back to the DIY at hand, I started by painting the canvases a color that best matched the book covers. I then used that aforementioned wiry brush to kind of rough up the canvas (Canvas, Ima gonna Rough You Up!). I used chalk to sketch in the design because it was easier to see and erase than pencil.
From there, I just blocked in the dark color. Once that was dry, I used a slightly damp towel to wipe away the chalk lines.
And then there was the lettering. Ewww! I hate lettering. How did I ever forget after painting this Smoky Mountain picture? Which I only painted because I had forgotten how tiresome all the lettering in this calendar proved to be. And how difficult it is to actually get the sizing correct like in this Nashville painting. Apparently I'm a glutton for punishment. And chocolate. Where's my chocolate punishment? Cuz I could totes use some of that.
Once that first painting was knocked out, I started on this one. Which was a pinch more involved because of the addition of another color.

I kinda went at it screen printing/color-by-numbers style by layering the colors from the background moving forward.
I took a lotta liberties with the composition of this painting (read: I messed it up and had to come up with an alternative) but in the end, I kinda love this painting.
Hubs and I've been taking some seriously long day hikes. I've been in my glasses this week after contracting a delightful eye infection that left me feeling as though I were blinking over shards of glass. Lovely, right? Being out with this dude reminded me of one of the times we camped in Kentucky at Mammoth Cave. Lemme set the scene for you: it was twilight, we'd just set up camp and I took a short stroll to the ladies room (FYI: for those of you that do not camp, there is no "ladies room"). Upon my return, I heard a "chuh-chuh-chuh-CHUH-CHUH!" sound coming from the ground and I looked down to see a rattleshake frantically shaking his tail and slowly raising his head. I screamed bloody murder and with legs that felt like noodles, I ran back to the tent. "MITCH! Mitch! MITCH!!" I screamed to this dude who, after hearing my commotion in the woods, looked more annoyed than worried. "What? You're scaring the wildlife."

Oh, and speaking of wildlife that incident with the snake was only topped by the time we hiked the four miles out of our campsite and got all the way home only to find that I'd had a huge scorpion just chillin' in my backpack. When we got home and I unzipped my bag, out he popped, crawling around on our kitchen counter with a "So, is this your place? Not bad, not bad. Don't know about your decorator but I've got a coupla friends than can help you get this place lookin' sharp. You know, like my tail. Heh heh heh."

 Dear Wildlife. Suck it.
I'm kinda stoked about these paintings because it's inspired us to decorate our Tennessee-themed pad with a vintage camping vibe also. Complete with scorpions and rattlesnakes. Should be pretty sweet.

AND's time to announce the Winner of the Best Artsty Pick Up Line Contest. Drum roll, puhlease? No?! Well, how about a rattlesnake rattle. Thank you...

I'm an artist but...for you, baby, I'll get a JOB! by Laureen!

Congrats, Laureen! 
And thank you to everyone who submitted and voted! I loved each and every line and have tested them all myself. Thanks, guys!
Read more »