Nothing elevates a space better than paintings and artwork either hung or otherwise. Having said that, I am a huge fan of oversize art when done right! Large artwork pieces call for attention, anchor a room and make an impression that a bunch of small art just can’t.
Making a statement piece representing our home had always been on my list. An art piece that reflects both me and my husband and our love for our individual interests together on one canvas. So years ago, while pinning things away on Pinterest, I came across wallpapers by Ekaterina Panikanova with murals on books. I had always wished to have something like that which takes up the entire wall but since we are renters, I could not install or stick pages on wall and paint them. Also, I wanted to carry the art from house to house wherever we moved. It was then the idea of an oversize statement art on canvas occurred to me.
The pages on the canvas are the favourite passages, from the all time favourite books of my husband. The painting on the pages is a representation of me surrounded by my two lovely pet bunnies (a tribute to them as they are no longer with me ) and a cup to represent my love for tea.
When I first published this artwork on my Instagram, I got tons of request asking for a tutorial. So here you go.
Disclaimer: The step by step process does not include the work I put in Photoshop, since the software is not something everyone is familiar with and learning Photoshop needs a course on its own.
For this DIY, you shall need the following:
a) A large pre-stretched canvas – I am using a 4ft x 6ft here. You can find one on Amazon or a local craft store.
b) Acrylic Paint
c) Spray Paint
e) Adobe Photoshop
Following is the tutorial:
a) I first began by clicking pictures of all the pages of books that I wanted to use. I used a phone camera at the time which did the job well enough to get a good readable print. Something like this.
You can see that I used a tape to hold the pages in place so I could get a good shot.
b) Once all the pictures of the pages were clicked, I then moved on to the next step which is creating vintage looking open books. This step is something I cannot tutor as I have been a professional concept artist and realistic painting using Photoshop is something that I learnt over the years working in the industry.
c) As you can see above, I then merged the picture of one of the pages I clicked earlier over the vintage open book I painted as the base. There are various tricks I used to make it merge seamlessly. I used a Wacom Tablet to draw and edit in Photoshop. A very important step was to measure the canvas and then estimate the number of pages I wanted to fit with approximate sizes to create in Photoshop. Its a bit of a calculation, but it was very essential to figure it out before I could print them.
d) I repeated this step for the all the images I clicked, but with different sizes, shapes and colour variations of the books. I made sure to group the pages well, so that it looks collected and not too repetitive.
e) Once all the pages were ready, I got them all printed from a local print shop and then cut the white background out just like these.
f) Well next step was to check whether all the pages fit in perfectly on the canvas before I pinned them permanently.
g) Once all the pages fit in place, I took them off and painted the canvas black to give high impact so that the books pop and are highlighted. And then once the canvas was dry, pinned the pages back again.
h) Now it was time for the fun part. Painting over the pages. I did a couple of thumbnail sketches to understand what I like and how to place the characters on the pages. And then went over with a pencil to make a sketch before using acrylic paint.
Whew!!! After putting hours and hours of labor, the artwork was ready and the end result was totally worth the effort.
So, what do you think? How did it turn out? I would love to know what you all think in the comments below. If you liked it, don’t forget to pin or share!