On one of the thousand blogs and facebook pages that I've visited over the last couple of months, I saw the cutest tote bag that someone painted. It inspired me to make my own.
I believe she used a canvas tool bag. I actually thought about buying one until I remembered that I had a tote!! I bought this canvas tote from Levenger last year. I loved the outside pockets all around it and wide opening - easy to find things. When I received it, I promptly put in the closet saving it for a special day. Hurray! Today is the day!
To start, I dusted off any lose dirt with a brush and placed a thick book inside to give me a flat surface to work on. I taped off the first pocket and painted a basic background of sky and grass colors.
After it dried, I used a stencil to add in flowers. I taped the stencil in place while I sponged in paint. I used gesso in a dabber bottle for the white pedals. For the small areas I used a cotton swab to add color.
After it dried, I added shading with a small paintbrush and used black paint markers (.7mm, 2mm) and a black poster paint marker to outline everything inside the frame. In my mind, I had the vision of a smooth line. As I started to draw the lines, I could see the texture come through and I had to go over my lines a few times, resulting in sketchy, rugged look. I really like it! It's funny how you can have a vision for your art piece, but then something different happens and you like it better than what was in your mind. :) I love creating and the surprises you get! I used the black poster paint marker for the border. I pulled off the tape and found I colored outside the border a little. I tried to fix it by thickening the border and then thought, "oh well, that's the beauty of making your own." :)
The first time I work on a brand new surface, I'm a little conservative. One I got past that first pocket, I was a 'mad painter!' :) I continued around the bag, masking, painting each pocket and adding some of my favorite words. It was easy and fun! The hardest part was waiting for the paint to dry before the next step.
NOTES: All the stencils are from Stencil Girl (most are from StencilClub). I used a variety of acrylic paints. On each pocket, I used only a few analogous colors (next to each other on the color wheel).
- Stuff the bag with the biggest book you can find that fits inside, slide an acrylic block in the pocket to stabilize the surface, and then tape it off. A size that just fits in the pocket works best. If it does not fit the whole pocket, move it to the area you are working on.
- Press down really well on your mask so your paint will not spread underneath. If it does spread, dont' stress. You can thicken the border to fix, or create something that goes outside the border - that's a cool look.
- When using a large portion of the stencil, tape it in place. When using only a section, just hold it town in the area you are using.
- This may be an obvious one, but I had to keep reminding myself. :) Make sure you wipe off your hands often. There were a few places I got paint that I did want it.
- Use a metal ruler for your border - remember to wipe the paint of the edge.
Take care and STAY POSITIVE!