Sometimes I feel like just printing a painting isn’t enough.
I feel like- man when I buy stuff, I buy prints because I like the artist but can’t afford a bigger piece- but I always feel like it’s not as good as an original. So I end up kind of going halfway sometimes, and painting over a print of my own work.
I’ll do the painting first. here’s the original of one of these, notice that it’s yellow- I was in a sunny mood that day for some fucking reason! and next to it, the handpainted shark print, finished.
I did this in watercolor and colored pencil on plain tinted paper.
If you plan to follow along, make sure your original art has:
- strong lines without breaks
- decent contrast (high contrast is best)
- a somewhat monochromatic color scheme
further instructions after the break:
next, I scanned it in- 600 dpi every time.
Then I went to town on it in photoshop. I made it blue.
(picture is of a finished hand-painted print of another painting)
Up your contrast- you want the original, the print layer, to show through the rest of the work you do on it.
in this picture you can see how the red and blue I painted over with have lightened the black in some areas.
then print it out- let the print dry TOTALLY dry before you paint over it.
If you can, use inks which are light- and water-proof. I like the epson archival, since they are matte, and deep, and they’re very lightfast. Also once they have dried on the paper a bit of water won’t smudge them.
I used liquid acrylics (FW brand) to paint these. The warm colors are translucent, so the black isn’t lightened by them-
but the cold tones are a bit opaque, so be sure you test out the opacity of your paints or inks before you start.
(this one was an ink drawing I did, not a painting, then printed to paint over, it’s my anti-valentine)
I found that I liked the reds the best, so I ended up making everything extra in reds.
I usually make really small runs of prints anyway, so doing six or ten of these is no problem.
I do each one slightly differently, that feels more…more like art, to me.
Each one is partly original and partly repro.
I sign and number them like regular prints, but I feel like they’re a bit more alive than something that has exact copies.
To finish them I spray over with a very thin layer of UV sealant, matte finish. That’s it- it’s not hard at all.
If you don’t draw you could always find old public domain photos or art to print out and paint over. Just make sure the DPI is high enough for you to print properly.