Hand Painted Purse Tutorial
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How to Hand Paint a Purse
I wanted to share with you all how I painted this last purse I did. I used to do a lot of purses when I worked with wholesalers, but it had been a while since I had done one, and it offered up it's own set of challenges. If you are wanting to personalize and hand-paint your own purse, here are a few tips and instructions to help you out.
1. First, I found the purse at a thrift shop. It is made of heavy canvas fabric, and has "leather look" trim. the canvas fabric is perfect for painting. The first thing you need to do is check it all over and make sure there are no flaws or wear to the purse. I lucked out, and this one was like new!
2. You have to develop your design for your purse. After I had used masking tape to cover the trim and protect it from any paint drips or splatters, I traced the shape and outline of the purse onto a large piece of sketch paper, so I would be sure and get the scale right for the design. I actually just laid the purse down on the paper and traced around it. That gave me the correct dimensions so I could size the design correctly.
3. I drew my design on the paper, making sure that the scale and proportions were correct and the size of the design was compatible with the size of the purse. This took a lot of drawing and erasing, lol! I also was planning the colors of the flowers in my mind as I went, to make sure it balanced out.
4. Once I had my design on paper, it was time to get the design onto the purse. I couldn't use transfer paper or any other transfer processes, so I freehand drew the design onto the purse with a drawing pencil using a soft lead, charcoal type pencil. I was able to erase any errors with a regular eraser when something didn't suit me, but the sketching of the design onto the purse took quite a while.
5. Once the design was on the purse to suit me, I started base-coating in the medium value colors of my flowers and leaves, letting the layers dry in between coats of paint. I do it this way so I can go back and add the dark shades, details, and the highlights afterwards.
6. Once I had the medium values painted on, I began to do the shading and the highlighting. I did all of this using liquid acrylics and textile medium to make the paint more flexible and stable on the purse. Using the textile medium makes the paint where it doesn't crack or wear like it would without it. You don't need to use gesso on something like this. Actually, it's better if you don't, because the gesso can cause the paint to crack on wearable art and purses...
7. Finally, I kept adding lights and darks and details, until I was happy with the way it looked. By this time, I had been working on it for two days!
8. I let the paint dry for 24 hours, then slid the open purse onto my ironing board and put tissue paper on top of the design and ironed it with a medium heat iron for about 2-3 minutes. This heat-sets the paint and makes it much more stable.
9. Now my purse is finished! I signed it with a permanent marker, and now it is in my Etsy shop for sale, lol! Be sure to let your paint dry between layers. Also, mix your textile medium and acrylic paints about 2 parts medium and 1 part paint. This makes the paint much more stable and less likely to rub off or wear. It also makes your paint go much farther, and you use less paint!
If you have any questions, just email me at LThykeson@yahoo.com!
One last thing....
Also, I would love to share with you about my new workshop I am conducting called "Embrace the Day". It is an Expressive Arts writing and art workshop, and it has been getting really good reviews. In it, you will be dealing with one emotion a week, and the lessons are both LIVE and recorded for your convenience. It is only $10 every 4 weeks, so you can pay as you go and not have to pay a lump sum up front. For more info, email me at LThykeson@yahoo.com! I would love to tell you about it in detail!