Blue Ballerina

I made some new artwork for my living room.

I call her “Blue Ballerina.” It’s a working title.

I got my inspiration from 2 places. First, I saw the photograph of the ballerina with her hair down months ago on Pinterest, and immediately knew I had to make some sort of art work out of it. Then, I saw this:

Click for the tutorial on how to make red one from How About Orange.

The silhouette of the bicyclist was all I needed for it all to come together. I was going to have her on a plain white canvas, but then I decided I wanted a burst of color. I pictured her on a stage with a spotlight, performing the dance of a lifetime.

Here’s how I did it:

1. Print your image. I printed mine about 2 weeks before I finally used it. I wanted to give the ink time to set since my printer is notoriously bad at images bleeding. It was printed on regular quality white computer paper.

2. Prepare the canvas by applying a thick layer of Mod Podge over the whole thing. Let it dry completely. This is supposed to flatten out the surface to help keep the paint from bleeding under the tape. I think this is an important step. I didn’t do it on the edges of my canvas, and that’s the only place I had minor bleeding.

3. Affix tape in the desired pattern. I had mine all overlap in the same spot so that there would be a big, oval white space.

4. Apply Mod Podge over all the exposed canvas and on the edges of the tape. This also helps with bleeding, ’cause if the Mod Podge bleeds under the tape, it dries clear, so that’s okay. It stops the paint from bleeding under, and that’s what’s important. Again, let it dry completely.

5. Paint all of the exposed canvas. Let dry partially.

6. Carefully peel off of the tape. Let the paint dry completely (preferably overnight) before continuing.

7. Place the image where you want it to go. I glued it with an archival quality glue stick just in case of any bleeding. (Mod Podge is wet, and would make it bleed.)

8. Apply a spray on sealant. I used Mod Podge brand. (If you have a laser printer, or you know your ink jet images don’t bleed, then you can skip this step.) I applied 3 layers of sealer, letting each one dry completely in between. I wanted to be sure after all this work that my image didn’t bleed! I’ve been burned in the past.

9. Apply a layer of Mod Podge over the entire canvas, sides and all. I used a matte finish. Let dry completely.

10. Repeat step 9 until the canvas is smooth, and the affixed image no longer looks like a piece of paper.

Then, viola, you have a wall-worthy piece of artwork. I just love how it turned out. The process may have been long, with all the drying time, but it was very simple.

If I’ve inspired you to make something similar, please feel free to link to it in the comments. I’d love to see what you come up with!


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