A View of Prague (Canvas Cutout Tutorial)

Prague Canvas Cutout

I finally bring you the total experiment piece that I promised you guys! ๐Ÿ˜€ What do you think of my silhouette of Prague (ignore the vinyl cutouts, those are other experiments ;))?

I have a sort-of tutorial on how I made it. It’s a sort-of tutorial because I totally made up everything as Iย  went along and would probably change quite a few things the next time around ๐Ÿ™‚ But it was fun to try ๐Ÿ˜€

I totally was planing on doing something else with the canvas, I’m sure you guys have seen the tutorials on how to do this:

I was totally planning on making my own, then I couldn’t decide on what pattern to use so I thought of something completely different to do ๐Ÿ™‚

Materials: Canvas (you can find packs for pretty cheap, I got a pack of 3 for $5 at Ross of all places), Exacto Knife, Cardboard, Paper, Acrylic Paint (cheap stuff rocks! ;)), and image with multiple layers.

Step 1: Choose your image and print it out. This is the image I used:

What I loved about it was the multiple layers of the buildings, that’s the type of image that will work the best for this. Print it off, black and white is probably easiest. When you have that done make sure you can fit it on your canvas in the way you want. I had to cut off a couple inches from the sides. Tip: Remember that you can’t go onto the wooden frame of the canvas. So stick to the square in the middle.

Step 2: I use the “I’m poor and crafty” method of transferring outlines of images I want. This means on the printed side of you image trace the lines you want. Keep in mind that the first layer has to be attached to the canvas, so you can’t have random bits that aren’t attached to anything. Trace all the layers you want, I only did two. Make sure to trace hard, it’s easier if you can see your lines on the other side of the paper. Next flip your paper over and shade over where your trace lines are. You want a nice thick layer of pencil on that side.

Step 3: Now you transfer the first layer onto the canvas. To do this cut out the area of the photo that you wanted to fit into the square/rectangle of the under side of the canvas (I really wish I realized that I should take a photo of this :P). Now place the photo in the space behind the canvas (the wrong side of the canvas) with the shaded side of the photo touching the canvas. Trace over the first layer of the image that you want to be the front of the cutout. Press hard, it’s not easy to transfer the pencil lines. After you finish tracing, take out the photo and go over the lines on the canvas again. Make sure you can see the lines well.

Step 4: Use your Exacto knife to cut along the lines you just made. Then repeat the same steps but transfer the second layer image onto a piece of cardboard, I recommend using something thicker than what I used (it will look cooler and more 3d). Just make sure you remember which side will face forward in you cutout (I didn’t realize until just now that my second layer is flipped the wrong way).

Step 5: Cut out a support for your canvas layer. It really flops around otherwise. Out of cardboard cut out the basic shape of your outline, it doesn’t need to be perfect.

Canvas cutout steps 2,3,4

Step 6: Now with all the cutting out done it’s time to paint. I just used acrylic paint I got on sale and a large brush. Do whatever color scheme you want. I didn’t have newspaper to protect the floor, so I used a large piece of paper. I also painted half the paper to be the background of the cutout. You can have your wall be the background if you want, but I wanted a 3d painting effect. Tip: Don’t forget to paint the sides of the wood frame a dark color. Otherwise it will be really obvious that there’s a wooden frame.

canvas cutout step 5

Step 7: After your stuff dries, glue everything together. Start with the support for the canvas, then the second layer, then the background. I can’t really give you much help with this since I just stuck it all together the best I could. You might wantย  to think of supports or something to keep the layers from bending funky. Tip: Glue very carefully! Believe me the glue will show if you get it on the nice side of your layer, and you will have to repaint. It’s a serious pain so whatever you do, do it carefully!

Canvas cutout step 6Background paper, right before gluing

Canvas cutout step 6

See what I mean about glue showing? After everything’s glued and you’re happy you can hang it up for all the world to see ๐Ÿ™‚ I used packing tape on the back side and then attached a command strip.

As I’m sure you’ve guessed, I realized some important things I need to change the next time I do this. It was still fun and I think I’ll let it stay on my wall (surrounded by other experiments ;))

I want to know how your cutout’s turn out!! Send pictures and comment on the blog please!! ๐Ÿ˜€

Now donโ€™t forget you can follow me on twitter (here), visit my etsy shop (here), or like my Facebook page (here)


3 comments on “A View of Prague (Canvas Cutout Tutorial)

  1. I did something like this in college with portraits (and managed to stab my finger with an Exacto knife). But I’m definitely going to try this.

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