This is a photograph I took of the finished painting…but it looks much better in person, not surprisingly.
Since the last post to this blog I added lots of flowers — bluebonnets and black-eyed Susans and some wholly imagined dew-drop type blossoms on the long arching stems that I’ll name GumDrops because they look like candies — and I finished the animals.
The important non-pictorial steps of the process, such as adding hanging wire and varnishing the painted surface for durability, are shown and described below.
You can click on the image of the painting and enlarge it, I believe. It may not appear sharp as I did NOT take my own good advice to always use a tripod.
Because this painting is fairly large (20×24) and heavy and will be hanging near a baby’s crib it is super-important that the hanging wire is strong and secure. A trick I learned when we owned the gallery and frame shop in Texas is to use TWO wires on the back…that way if one breaks (highly unlikely) the other will hold. To make the picture hang level two picture hangers are used.
Here are the tools and parts I used. The awl makes small starter holes into which the screw eyes are fastened. It is important to NOT pre-drill the holes into which the screw eyes go because it is easy to make the holes too big and this will result in the screw eyes being loose and possibly pulling out.
The best position for the wire is approximately one-third down from the top…in this case that’s about 6 to 7 inches from the top of the canvas along the 20 inch sides.
The wire I use is super-strong braided picture cable and it is threaded through the screw eyes twice then wrapped on itself seven times. Why seven? “Cause it is a lucky number, that’s why!
This is what one side looks like…ready for hanging. See how secure?
Acrylic paints are terrific, but even the same brand of paints will vary in shininess from color to color. This is due to the different pigments used to make the colors…and this characterisitc occurs in oil paints too. So, it is important to varnish the panting once it is dry to bring the entire painted surface to the same degree of shininess or matteness. A matte surface tends to make the colors look lighter while a gloss makes the colors look deeper and richer…naturally, I think deeper and richer colors are more desirable so that’s what I went with. This varnish also protects against UV light damage, but that really isn’t an issue with acrylic paints. This varnish can also be used on watercolors, where lightfastness IS an issue.
I elevated the canvas on four small plastic containers to prevent the varnish from seeping around the edges and gluing the canvas to the table. This photo shows the “gallery wrap” canvas, which allows the painting to be hung without a frame. In this case, because the picture is hanging near the crib we don’t want a frame that would add weight to the picture ; additonally a frame might contain potentially harmful materials, such as metal leaf or lead-based paints.
Another advantage of varnishing the painting is to protect the surface from things that might splatter on it, such as spit-up or milk 😉
Here’s a detail of the finished painting…this is the lower right corner showing the hen and two chicks…and my signature.
I hope you’ve enjoyed watching the progress of this painting. The was a fun project for me…and I learned how versatile acrylic paints are. I welcome your comments or questions.