Category Archives: Pop Art

Creating An Image On Canvas

Generate Your Image on Canvas


The following document will discuss:


Priming the Canvas.

Projecting the Image.

Setting Up.



Finishing the Canvas.

Extra ideas.






Prime the canvas:


Time Frame: 10 minutes


 A canvas when purchased will normally state as already primed,ignore this and prime it yourself. What you will find is that when youpaint your image a pre-primed canvas will not be white and will make

the painting not look a true Black and White Painting.


 There are two options for priming, a proper manufactured primer or awhite acrylic, I have tried both methods and they give similar results.When using a Primer, it can be quite thick and is recommended not towater down, where as white acrylic paint can be watered down toallow for easy painting, and covers the canvas just as well as a primer. 


It may be best along with other recommendations to test these for

yourself to see which you prefer.




Projecting the Image:

 Time Frame: 20 – 30 minutes, depends on level of detail.



Once the Priming stage is completed, you can start with projecting

your chosen image onto the canvas.


 For this you need to be able to set the up the canvas so that it standsvertically, with a space of approx. metres so that you can set the projector up and allow for focusing. I use a wall in a bedroom with the projector ontop of a box, as this is the best location for me, but if you have more space you may be able to set this up to suit your needs.  When you are happy with the setup, place the chosen image beneath the projector and start to align the image with the canvas edges, then alter the focus.


This can take a bit of playing around with but makesure that they focus is clear enough for when you are close up todraw the outline.   When the image is focused onto the canvas, you can now start to draw onto the canvas tracing the lines of the image. Always use apermanent marker as this reduces the chances of smudging, you should always be aware of freshly drawn lines.




As most of the images are Black & White they are fairly easy to drawout, where as if you created an image with more coloured areas this would take longer to draw out.


 Another choice for you to consider is the edges of the canvas as thiswould not have had any projected image. Some artists tend to leavethe sides blank and use this as a frame. Some paint round the edges;the problem is that no image is shown there and you have to makethis up, although most of the time it could just be the extension of aline, or to complete a curve that starts on the front of the canvas.    



Setting Up:

 Time Frame: 5 minutes    



After the previous stages you should now have a canvas with a white background and an outline of your image.


Again this would be your choice, should you use a easel of just adesk? I tried the easel but didn’t get much freedom whereas on a desk you can move the canvas around to suit yourself.


After Deciding on the above, you should prepare your paint, which forall acrylics I water them down a touch to make them more fluid and easier to paint with.


Something to bare in mind when using acrylics is that they do dry upquickly. After using them for some time I found that the best method is to pour an amount into a jar and add a few teaspoons of water andmix, but don’t make too watery. With the water added the acrylic is a better medium to paint with and I feel gives a better finish, which is  why I get asked if they are prints. 


Place the original image close by so that you can follow which areasyou need to paint.       



 Time Frame: 60 – 120 minutes, depends on level of detail.


The next step is the most interesting as you now begin to see your image come to life on the canvas.




Start by painting along the edges, this can take the most time as this is what gives your painting its shape. When the edges are painted, you can start to fill in the areas.   



Leave the painting for 45 minutes to allow it to dry. When you return to the painting you have a finished Pop Art painting, to sell this you need to make sure you are happy with the quality. Check that you have filled all areas, a good way of doing this is to hold the painting up to the light to see how much light gets through the black, as a result you may need to apply another layer of black paint.






Time Frame: 1 minute


 Sign the painting, this can be on the front or on the back, if you dosign the back, make sure you do it on an area that has been painted BLACK!!.



Finishing the Canvas:


Time Frame: 10 minutes


 When you are happy with the above, you need to consider how tofinish the painting, leave it as it is or to apply a varnish finish. If youleave it as it is, you allow for little protection for the buyer whereas ifyou applied a varnish finish which can be gloss or matt you allow for

the painting being touched without causing damage.



Extra Ideas:

 Some artist build up layers of colours or paint on a canvas, this cantake a lot longer but if your image uses various shades of a colourthen you would start with the lightest and build up layers to the



 When painting around the edges of the canvas be careful as paintcan build up you may want to brush over this to remove some of the excess paint. 


Some Pop Art paint work appears to have a thicker finish like oils where you can see the brush strokes, if you prefer this method, don’t water down the acrylics.


 If you are doing a painting as a commission, then offer the buyer a choice of finish. Clean the brushes regularly when painting as the build up of paint can ruin the brush.     

Pop Art Contacts

Darrell's Note:  These links are at least 2-years old and some may no longer be available.

ContactsTo help with your growing Pop Art Business you will need to find thebest materials for the best prices. Here are some we sites that I canrecommed.Art Supplies:The Works, cheap book shop that sells a range of canvases andpaints, brushes etc.

 Daler-Rowney, Paint manufacturers, User Forum which is good foradvice.

 Hobbycraft, A great store for purchasing canvases, paints, brushes

 Gifted Black Canvas, assorted sized canvases

 Art Discount, sells everything you could possibly want

 Argos, the best price I found for a set of 4 canvases for The BeatlesFab Four Set.

 Bristish Arts, Art supplies and tutorials

 Art For Sale Sites:


Using Picassa 3 To Create A Template

Picasa 3 was released recently and the feature descriptions seemed too good to be true. Sure enough, they’re real and the user is greater with a friendly interface that is intuitively easy to manipulate for what I call, the Artist’s primary photo editing functions.

And its superb for producing Pop Art Templates, both advanced and Basic. And the additional beauty of this process is you can play around with the canvas color to see what specific color you’d like to use for the first application. This set of step by step instructions will show you how.

Now, if you’re reading this article and havn’t ordered the Basic Techniques of Pop Art from us or know how to create your own “Warhol” style of painting, this article may be a little confusing to begin with. But I’m going to clear the mystery for you right now.

Pop Art is created by painting your entire canvas with a basic color and then tracing a template over the canvas of the individual, animal, pet or object you’re painting. The key to producing good pop art is the photo editor one uses to create the template.

Let me walk you through the basics.

Launch Picasa 3 and pull up your own photo. For my example, I’ll be using a photo of myself that my grand daughter took. She loves taking photos even though she’s six. So I’ve been spending time teaching her how to shoot photos.

This is the photo of Sabrina that she took of me.


She also took a photo of Joe, who manages the security of our systems and custom applications such as the help desk.


Picasa is quite nice. You can perform the following basic Fixes effects in batch:

  • Auto Contrast
  • Auto Color
  • I’m Feeling Lucky
  • Sepia
  • Sharpen
  • Warmify
  • Film Grain
  • Black and White
  • Rename
  • Rotate Clockwise
  • Rotate Counterclockwise
  • Resize Images (Although only to pre-selected sizes)

The first thing you need to do is crop your photo to a rectangle roughly representing the canvas. Your photo, if created using a digital camera produced in the past couple of years will probably larger than the canvas size. In this event, you’ll need to resize your photo.

So, crop the portrait photo so that the face is dominant like you see above.

Next, resize the photo so its equivalent in size to the canvas: 6″x8″ is generally what I do.

Double click on the photo “Joe”.

On the top left you’ll see the Windows Applications bar line. Below that is a single function, Back to Library.

The third row is what we’re looking for. Three tabs entitlled “Basic Fixes”, “Tuning”, “Effects”

Click on the “Tuning Tab”

Slide the highlights and shadows to the right all of the way. Notice the effects each sliding switch has on the Photo.

Now look for the Fill Light Slide. Slide it to the right until you’re satisfied with the image.


Now click on the Effects Tab and go to “Saturation” then slide the saturation slider all the way to the left. In my example below, I slid the slider all the way to the left.


Go Back to the Tunning Tab and slide the Highlights and Shadow sliders all the way to the right. Adjust the Fill Light until the photo looks good. Save a copy, print your template.

To choose what the basic canvas color should be, once you’ve completed the above and saved your copy go back to effects and click on “Tint.”

You’ll notice a color square like a prism on rainbow in the center of the screen, click on it. An eye dropper will appear and as you move your eyedropper to the left or right, the photo will change its tint. This is a great way to review what color would work best for your pop art painting. What do you think looks great for Joe?

joe5.jpg joe-step-3.jpg joe-step-4.jpg joe-step-5.jpg

Here’s how the pop art for Darrell turned out:

First crop the photo as we did above and resize to your canvas size.


Set the Shadows/Highlight/Fill Light slider switch on the Tuning tab.


Go to Effects, set slider for Saturation all the way to the right. then go back to the tuning tab and again readjust the highlight/shadows/fill light slider switches until you have the appropriate template. Save a copy of your photo.


Go back to the Effects tab and click on tint. Click on prism box and maneuver your eyedropper until satisfied with the final color for your Pop Art Canvas.


This photo editor is free and available from Google.

Enjoy and share with us all your photos and final paintings. I would love to hear from you.


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Oil Painting Project Patterns

Painting Project Patterns


  To use the following patterns:

  • Right click on the image to save to your computer.
  • import the image into your favorite layout tool like MS Publisher
    or photo editor
  • Resize the pattern to the size you’d like for your canvas
  • Print out the resized pattern
  • If your canvas size is greater than 8″x10″ you will need to tape
    together the printout using the ‘tick’ marks
  • Mask tape the pattern to your canvas
  • Place graphite or transfer paper between the canvas and the
    pattern ensuring graphite side is facing the canvas
  • Trace the drawing onto the canvas.


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