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Paper to Canvas Art

Updated on March 17, 2014

Supplies Needed

  • Desired print, in reverse, from inkjet printer
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure or ruler
  • Hard edged smoothing device
  • Paint sponge
  • Matte Mod Podge
  • Glossy Mod Podge
  • Tissue paper
  • Wet cloth
  • 11" x 14" canvas
  • 11" x 14" picture frame, if desired

Method #1

I've recently discovered that I am drawn to textured art, particularly canvas, which subtly hints at texture but definitely adds more flair than a paper print. With this new-found respect for canvas, I purchased a few 11" x 14" canvas covered boards to make artsy gifts for family members and see where it may lead. They got warm, kind reviews, and ultimately led to some requests and an opportunity to refine my process.

I am limited to the use of my Canon Pixma 882 all-in-one printer, so I don't use fancy devices for anything in this process. My software of choice is Microsoft Publisher. Neither of these are listed on the materials list, I suppose because I've assumed every household these days has a computer with editing software and a printer on hand. If this is not your situation, I sincerely apologize.

The focus of this piece is a poem entitled "A Hundred Years From Now", which holds special meaning to this writer. I opted to print a darker version of the poem, with lots of black, as I intended to insert it in a black frame. Keep in mind that the art for this piece was printed in reverse, because it acts as a transfer. The darker colors I selected perfectly complemented a sheet of printed tissue paper I'd tucked away from a recent purchase. so that was quickly retrieved and torn into variously sized strips.

The canvas surface was prepped by measuring and marking accordingly to center my 8-1/2" x 11" art. Then a thin coat of matte Mod Podge was applied and the art work laid face down carefully. I used my hard edged smoothing device to push any air bubbles from the center out toward the edge of the paper, taking care not to tear the now wet paper. Once the entire paper was flattened, I applied a second layer of matte Mod Podge on top of the art and allowed the piece to dry.

Once completely dry, I used a wet cloth to dampen the paper and work from the corners to the center to remove the top layer of the paper. If the paper becomes too moist, the moisture can cause all of the paper to completely lift from the canvas, so care was taken during this step to slowly roll away the top layer. Then the strips of printed tissue paper were applied to create a frame around the poem art using gloss Mod Podge.Once the piece was complete, a final coat of gloss Mod Podge covered the entire canvas surface and dried before inserting it into an 11" x 14" frame.

Method #2

After completing this piece, I realized that an image could be printed as usual and applied directly to the canvas to get crisper results, still with the canvas look. Care must be taken not to over saturate the paper with Mod Podge to prevent too much ink from smearing and leaving unsightly blurs across the art. As the Mod Podge soaked paper dries into the canvas, it becomes textured like the canvas. The rest of the steps remained the same and this technique was adored by its recipient as well.

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