Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Trompe L'Oeil Canvas

I cleaned out the downstairs guestroom closet, since I have houseguests coming. I thought they might actually appreciate a place to hang their clothes. This particular closet has been one of my stealth pillow stashes. Having a pillow addiction can pose problems for storage. (I know none of you have this same problem) Nothing like thinking of company coming to make me get off my backside and do a little sprucing up around here. 

So during the clean out I found this print that I'd had for awhile. Don't remember when we bought it or where it came from, but I'm sure it was from a flea market somewhere...

And you probably know I love me some sheep and lambs. I thought I might try to get the look of an oil painting by mod podging this to a painters' canvas. We have several that my mil used a while back, so I found this one that was the same width but a little larger top to bottom. I glued it on in the middle, then found some acrylic craft paints to try to add to the canvas, to even it out. 

Above, you can see on the bottom of the canvas I used a brown base and then just added in some greens and tans to mimic the ground. I wasn't looking for "perfect", I wouldn't be able to do that, I just wanted to get the feel that the print was larger at the bottom. We don't have to worry about any counterfeit art heists or anything like that...

Then, you can see at the top I just continued the "sky" with a coat of grays mixing in lighter and darker colors to look like darkening clouds. I brought the paint down over the top of the print to help blur the lines a little. Then took the color to the sides of the canvas too.

The fluorescent lighting down here causes lot's of glare, but actually it's pretty passable...
if you're not too close.

The trick to making this look more realistic and to "fool the eye" is to have it at a distance for viewing. Up close you can certainly see where the print stops and my attempts start. I coated the whole thing with 2 coats of glossy Mod Podge, to look like oil paint. (kinda-sorta) The second one I did in a cross-hatch manner that gave it more texture like brush marks.

You know how in the 40's to the 60's many prints were done on a cardboard base, I have quite a few of them that I've grabbed for almost nothing that have had scratches on them. Basically it can ruin the look of one of those prints, but with a little mixing of paint and a close eye you can repair them, using this same technique.

It's a little lame, but I didn't want to frame it, I love the look of a plain canvas, and everything I used I already had on hand. 

You might notice that I also changed out the dark burgundy area rug for this lighter one that had been upstairs. One of my Mother's Day presents was a wonderful new rug from Overstock, for the Living Room. The new rug upstairs ended up being nicer than I even imagined, I'll share it with you a little later. 

You'll be hearing more about what Anne and I have planned for next month. We've waited three years to meet, so we're going to have some fun adventures. more later...

OK, now don't snicker behind my back at my tromp l'oeil canvas...please be kind.

I'll be linking to 

Share the Love at Very Merry Vintage Style
House Party at No Minimalist Here
What's It Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants
Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
Thriftin' On a Thursday at Savvy City Farmer
Simple and Sweet at Rooted in Thyme
Transformation Thursday at the Shabby Creek Cottage
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Inspiration Friday at the Picket Fence
Home Sweet Home at the Charm of Home
Fridays Unfolded at Stuff and Nonsense
Sat Nite Special at Funky Junk



  1. LOVE IT Debra, and your whole room looks fantastic!
    I would love to visit you in this COMFY Atmosphere and see your creation up close and personal!
    Have a wonderful week,

  2. Great idea! I don't think I would have thought of doing that! Great job. It looks fabulous in your room!

  3. Your sheep painting would go very nicely with , my sheep painting

    I have my 1st little giveaway and would like to invite you over to enter


  4. Lovely painting that room is beautiful ! Have a great day !

  5. Debra - I absolutely LOVE what you did! That is a fabulous print! You did it great justice with your canvas makeover. Have fun with your company!... Donna

  6. What a wonderful looking room! I also prefer canvas vs. framing.

  7. love the picture...i love me some sheepies too...and i adore what you did with it..will have to give that a try ! nice l room decor too!

  8. Great job; I'm dying to try this! You should have signed it!!!

  9. Debra,
    I'm crazy for your living room. It's perfectly dressed in marvelous whites!!! I've pinned it to my PINTEREST Board titled "Perfect Living Spaces".
    Blessings & hugs,

  10. Great job!! The room looks fabulous. I love all the little touches.


  11. Debra, I love it. You did a fantastic job on that. I know it is just an oversight, but you don't have a link to my party. Thanks for sharing this.

  12. You did fabulous Debra! Seriously if you hadn't pointed it out I wouldn't have even noticed what you did. And, can I just say your room is gorgeous! Seriously! That new rug...sigh I want it! Enjoy your guests and getting to see Anne...just a little jealous of both of you, getting to be with each other. ;)


  13. Clever, very clever Debra. I love unframed oils too.

  14. I like that you didn't frame the pic. Also love the rug.

  15. Oh my that picture is stunning! Love that its not framed & where you hung it!

  16. I love the print! You could always lean it on your shelf behind your ironstone and drape an old rosary across the top and nobody would be the wiser.

    Not baaaaa...d at all! :@

  17. Debra, I also love the print and the creative way you re-sized it! Thanks for linking to my party.

  18. I'm with ya', girl. I'm trying to convince my husband of the merits of unframed originals, but he's an old school "frame it" kinda' guy.

  19. Debra,
    That's a lovely print...and I love that you incorporated a way to use it in your home decor! "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder"...and I say it's beautiful!

  20. I think your canvas is cute, Debra. A nice addition to your beautiful room.

  21. Debra, Your certainly did fool my eye. I had to go back and read your post a couple of times to SEE where you painted. Good for you. It is a lovely masterpiece!
    Great post!

  22. What a great idea loved how you fixed it!!

  23. I've seen prints framed like oil paintings and they are glazed over and brush stroked to look like they were painted. I like them a lot. What you did was a step beyond by painting right on the print. Cool. Take care, Linda

  24. what a clever fix, debra! and your room is so very charming--love the light, bright feeling!

  25. That turned out great Deborah!!

  26. Debra, this is totally something my mom would do. And if you are doing this much painting, I think you are about ready to start painting your own paintings. I am totally serious too.

  27. You are MORE than brilliant my friend. I use to do this kind of painting on walls for antique shops several years ago...never ever thought of doing such work to extend the size of a pre-existing canvas print. LOVE IT!



  28. Great job on the canvas.That is a lovely painting, I'm so glad you were able to find a way to use it. I am very partial to anything with lambs/sheep. And I really love the soft warm colors in that piece of art.

  29. That's a great way to get a larger painting. Nice Job. Thanks for sharing.

  30. Very creative! It looks great. I like unframed oils too. Your whole room looks wonderful. Have a great weekend.

  31. Hi Debra, I think it turned out fantastic. I love the look of the added paint. It actually made it quite unique. Great job and enjoy your company. Your home looks so warm and inviting. I'm sure she'll have a wonderful stay. Thanks for sharing with Share Your Cup!

  32. It looks wonderful Debra and I love the rug too!

  33. Hi Debra: I'm Connie at, a new GFC friend. I would love it if you stop by and be mine, too. What a fantastic idea. I looks great in that room, too. Thank you for sharing.

  34. I too love me some sheep and lambs love what u did it turned out great thanks for sharing came from FCC

  35. That's lovely! What a wonderful use of something you had on hand.

    I know that they make a product that you can use on a paper painting that will look like an oil painting if you have the time to do the brush strokes - and it come out beautifully! A friend of mine did this for me for my birthday - and I love how it came out. Looks very realistic!

    Great job!!


    PS - Isn't it amazing what you can do when company is coming!!! Very creative!

  36. I envy your ability to match the colors, I paint and that seems to be my downfall, knowing what to mix to get the right tone.

  37. So pretty. I think you did a great job.

    A pretty painted tray would be beautiful on your coffee table. Something that has similar colors to your painting/print would draw some of the color in and tie the whole look together.

  38. Debra, What a creative idea to make the print have more depth to it. Thanks so much for sharing on Simple & Sweet Fridays. Have a wonderful week!


  39. This is really pretty Debra. It turned out great! This is a lovely room. Thank you for joining me at Home Sweet Home!

  40. I think the painting turned out great. And, I love your living room. Gorgeous.



I love hearing from you. Feel free to comment, big or small. Be sure and leave your name and blog if commenting under anonymous. Thanks friends

New Posts in Your In-Box