Handmade. Handcrafted. Personalised. Customised. I love these words and the emotions they generate. To me they indicate that someone has spent time and effort, while putting in thought and skill to make something unique, something personal. That’s the thought behind the Make It Personal series. Through this series I would like to share how to create fun, personalised and unique gifts. I’m excited to feature some very talented people who will share their ideas for making wonderful gifts in the coming weeks!
Make It Personal: Pop paintings
I’m happy to kick off the Make It Personal series with a guest post on pop paintings from Dhana Nair. Dhanu and I go back a long way. Friends since we were children, we shared an interest in the arts and crafts. My first brush with her artistic skills was through the beautiful, handmade cards I would get each year for my birthday. While her professional calling is bio chemistry, in her spare time she draws, paints, crotchets, knits and sews (whew! I have to ask her again why she doesn’t have an Etsy shop or at least a blog!)
Create your own pop painting
When I moved to my new apartment, I was told that I could not paint the walls or drill nails in to the wall. This meant I needed more wall adornments, specifically light ones I could just hang with the Command 3M poster strips. Being just a few years out of graduate school meant I couldn’t purchase expensive artwork that I liked. However, I can draw and paint reasonably well, so I decided to create my own artwork. That’s how the idea of creating my own pop art came to me.
Over the years, these pop paintings have not just adorned my apartment, but have also turned out to the perfect gift for many occasions. They can be ideal gifts for house-warming parties and birthdays.
Materials you will need:
- Canvas board – I used 8×10 inch canvas ($1.33 /piece)
- Acrylic paints and brushes
- A pencil and a foot ruler
The first thing I did was surf the web for a suitable image I liked. I love the Roy Lichtenstein form of bold pop art but didn’t really know the method to produce the “BenDay dots” required to make it “Lichtensteinian” and so I stuck with the original picture that I found here.
I printed out the picture on regular printer paper and then using a ruler and pencil divided the picture into 1 inch x 1 inch squares. This breaks down the image to manageable pieces that can be easily copied. I created a grid containing 1 inch x 1 inch squares on my canvas with pencil (very lightly) and then started transcribing each square from the picture to the canvas. This is the resulting image:
I then erased the grid lines with an eraser and just went to town using my acrylic paints and brushes to fill in the colours. I wanted to personalise it a bit so I also added a variation of what is thought to be a Swedish proverb “Love me when I least deserve it because that is when I really need it.”
The next step was to find a way to hang the canvas since this does not have a hanger on the back or a wooden frame. So, I used a piece of string and taped it down with the Command 3 M poster strips like so.
Et voilà, here is my very own unique piece of pop art ready to be gifted!