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Painting Your Own Pictures, Art, Canvas and Custom Wall Art.

Updated on August 6, 2018
Austinstar profile image

L. Cargill, Medical Laboratory Scientist, ASCP. Retired blood banker and laboratorian. Loves to write about a wide range of subjects. Enjoy!

Painting Aztec Gods For Fun!

Quetzalcoatl - The Feathered Serpent
Quetzalcoatl - The Feathered Serpent | Source

After buying my first house, I had to decorate the walls! Bare walls are anathema to me. A house is not a home without good art to look at and compliment your lifestyle.

I had always admired good art and coveted many pieces that I could never afford in my lifetime. I am especially fond of Frederic Remington an artist that works in bronze as well as oils. Then I discovered photography!

Although most museums will not allow a camera in the hallowed halls, the museum store quite likely supplies well photographed examples of their art in the form of post cards. These post cards can be used to create a collage or they can be used to make copies as I will explain in a bit.

Poster art is available for almost any painting in the world. I collected a few posters that I loved and framed them to place on my walls. You can even get the Mona Lisa! The frames are not cheap unless you learn to do that yourself too. But at least it is affordable. I have seen many framed posters where the framing costs a good deal more than the art inside it! No one has to know.

The Dog

My first attempt at painting my own canvas art.
My first attempt at painting my own canvas art. | Source

Painting your own art...

At first I was quite happy with a few posters of art that were tastefully framed and carefully hung. I wanted more, or I changed the furniture and the art no longer matched my décor. I had to find another way to deal with my walls.

I wanted interesting and one of a kind art that couldn't be found anywhere except in MY house! There was only one way to accomplish that. I had to learn to paint my own art, frame my own photos and produce custom pieces just for myself.

I had no idea how to paint or how to draw. There was a small art course at the local adult learning center and several classes available at Michael's. It was much easier than I thought! Although my first attempt to draw and paint my own art looked very childish to me, many people really liked it. Click on the photo to enlarge it.

Here is what happens at a Paint Night class...

Saving money by copying art.

This is not exactly a good way to learn to draw and paint. However, if you really want a particular piece of art and you can't afford to pay the artist their due, you have the option of copying the art.

Truthfully, it's a copyright infringement. The artist may even want to sue you should he or she find out about what you have done. But imitation is also the most sincere form of flattery and you can never really duplicate someone's art anyway. You can trace it, you can photograph it, you can try to forge it, but unless you are some kind of genius, you'll never get the true original, just a copy.

There is a little gizmo called a "Tracer Projector". It's available from any good art or craft store. I have provided a link here to the one available at Amazon.

I've used it most effectively on line art. That is like the kind of picture you see in a coloring book or a black and white illustration. You can outline the picture on a canvas using the Tracer Projector and then use oils or acrylic paints to "color" it in. This can be a very simple project or a very complicated one. Take your time and this technique can provide you with thousands of pictures to paint and make your own.

Getting permission to use a line drawing is just a matter of contacting the artist and asking for permission. I've never known them to say no, especially if you are using drawings for your own pleasure and not for commercial resale.

How to save millions of dollars by customizing your art

Now you know that great and traditional art can cost upwards of thousands or even millions of dollars! Not to mention the insurance money you have to pay to protect that art.

So why not learn to paint your own canvases? It's really easy and fun and truly custom made. The supplies are very easy to obtain at any Michael's or Hobby Lobby. I've saved 1.5 million by NOT buying an original Frederic Remington!

Do you have an artist friend?

Should you happen to have an artist friend, perhaps they will do an original canvas just for you. I have done this for friends of mine. Either they don't have the time or think they don't have the skills needed. I usually do really simple things for a nominal fee.

I don't think I'll ever be a famous artist or even learn to paint and draw well. I do it for fun and to save money! My walls look great too.

Other great ways to save on original art.

Garage sales, flea markets and yard sales often have unknown and undiscovered artworks for sale. It's an amazing day when you find a good canvas for a few dollars. Even if it's not a famous artist or a well known work of art. If you love it, it's priceless!

A couple of other places to try for art are The Salvation Army Thrift Stores and Goodwill Stores. Many a small treasure have been found in these stores. You might even find the perfect home made frame for a rustic piece of art.

Then there's always the story of a regular guy or girl finding a Salvadore Dali or DaVinci painting just laying around in a barrel of knick knacks.

Are you interested in creating your own art?

Based on this hub, will you go out and take an art class?

See results

© 2011 Lela

Comments - Have you seen any good art lately?

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  • Austinstar profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago from Somewhere near the heart of Texas

    Thank you! I know that many people would love to do their own art. It's personal and meaningful.

  • Au fait profile image

    C E Clark 

    9 years ago from North Texas

    You have some great ideas here. Truthfully I thought of them years ago, but you wrote about them first! And they're fabulous. I am a person who likes to be different, and with just a little creative talent and effort, one can produce some amazing things.

    Really enjoyed this hub and I hope lots of people will read it and be inspired.

    Voting you UP and useful/awesome!

  • nikkiraeink profile image


    9 years ago from So. Cal.

    I love one of a kind art and doing it myself adds extra meaning.

  • markomitic profile image


    9 years ago from Toronto

    Nice hub, I must say. Not everyone has patience to do that but it's a good way to start getting someone into art. Thank you.

  • hanwillingham profile image


    10 years ago

    This is great article.

  • Austinstar profile imageAUTHOR


    10 years ago from Somewhere near the heart of Texas

    I've seen those cool wall murals and have thought about doing one for myself. I have one wall that I would love to do!

  • Docmo profile image

    Mohan Kumar 

    10 years ago from UK

    Cool idea Austinstar - I also dabble in pastels and paintings and have custom created some pieces for our house to match the colour scheme. I remember painting a murals for our children's bedrooms - not only economical there is also a sense of pride when people ask about them!fantastic!

  • RealHousewife profile image

    Kelly Umphenour 

    10 years ago from St. Louis, MO

    You are a master - I have an Original on my living room walll. You could copy them easily.

  • Austinstar profile imageAUTHOR


    10 years ago from Somewhere near the heart of Texas

    I would love to copy some of the masters, but I'm not even that talented. Maybe I could copy some abstracts, LOL.

  • Manna in the wild profile image

    Manna in the wild 

    10 years ago from Australia

    Oddly, copying the masters used to be part of an artist's development. It was accepted and encouraged. It is in fact a great way to learn. I was told to inscribe 'after [insert original artist's name]' on the back.

  • Austinstar profile imageAUTHOR


    10 years ago from Somewhere near the heart of Texas

    Good idea! I remember that my mom did that. What a great way to encourage your kids!

  • cardelean profile image


    10 years ago from Michigan

    Really fantastic ideas, thanks for a great hub. I plan to frame some of the art work that my children create as well when they get a little older.

  • Austinstar profile imageAUTHOR


    10 years ago from Somewhere near the heart of Texas

    You know Audrey, I forgot to include an even better way of putting good art on your walls. There are several online companies that put photographs on canvas! You're a good photographer so this would totally work for you. CafePress and other companies have half off sales fairly often, so you can get a large canvas for around $100. You might want to try that out and let us know.

  • akirchner profile image

    Audrey Kirchner 

    10 years ago from Washington

    I'm not very artistic when it comes to painting but this might work....even for me! Great topic, Lela!

  • fi fi profile image

    fi fi 

    10 years ago from Niagara, Canada

    Really great hub. I also paint on canvas and it's a form of meditation for me more than an income. Most of my work goes to friends and family, and some to my workplace, (I only have so many walls, lol). Kudos to you and your creative mind! Your tip for purchasing posters and framing them soooo hits home :)

  • RealHousewife profile image

    Kelly Umphenour 

    10 years ago from St. Louis, MO

    Well I've been waiting for you! K - check it out - to be fair, give me 30 minutes!

  • Austinstar profile imageAUTHOR


    10 years ago from Somewhere near the heart of Texas

    My mom used to shop yard sales all the time. She did once find a notable piece of artwork. It was a painting of a clipper ship. I remember the painting but can't remember who the artist was. She sold it for a few hundred dollars. I believe she only paid a dollar for it.

    There are other kinds of art that turn up in yard sales that are quite valuable. We always want to find that special "treasure". It's there often enough to make it worth while.

    Katie - Grab a canvas and get to work, girl! It's good for getting rid of stress too. If you don't like the results, well you haven't invested very much money, so just paint over it or donate it to Goodwill.

    Real - I'm so happy you love the painting and I can't wait to see your hub. Publish it already!

  • RealHousewife profile image

    Kelly Umphenour 

    10 years ago from St. Louis, MO

    "Please Mr. Postman, look and see, if there's some art work in your bag for me,"

    Ok - just had to get that out Austinstar!

  • katiem2 profile image

    Katie McMurray 

    10 years ago from Ohio

    I love it, every time I see one of those blank canvas's while out shopping I am always tempted. I adore your bit on save by painting your own pictures and who knows it could be worth a mint in a year or so. :) Katie

  • christopheranton profile image

    Christopher Antony Meade 

    10 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

    Very useful.

    You must have very nice walls. I like the idea of carboot sales and charity shops. It would be my preferred method.

    Thanks for that.

  • Austinstar profile imageAUTHOR


    10 years ago from Somewhere near the heart of Texas

    drbj, that is why copiers and paper were invented! I can draw a little now, I'm just in too much of a hurry most of the time.

    peanutroaster - So very true. Art is definitely personal. There is some art that turns my stomach and others are willing to pay money for it! Elephant poo for instance! Someone turned it into an art piece.

  • peanutroaster profile image


    10 years ago from New England

    That's a great twist on convention. Who decides what art is anyone? Its in the eye of the beholder.

  • drbj profile image

    drbj and sherry 

    10 years ago from south Florida

    Great suggestions, Lela, for those of us who admire art but are artistically challenged to produce our own.

  • Austinstar profile imageAUTHOR


    10 years ago from Somewhere near the heart of Texas

    Will, get busy and copy some Remington's for me.

    Spirit, a little birdie told me you recommended me, thanks for the compliments!

  • Spirit Whisperer profile image

    Xavier Nathan 

    10 years ago from Isle of Man

    I like creating my own art and have encouraged my children to do the same. The walls of our house are covered in all our work and it feels very homely. I also visited your site and was very impressed. Thank you for another great hub.

  • WillStarr profile image


    10 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

    I like classic art photos idea!

  • RealHousewife profile image

    Kelly Umphenour 

    10 years ago from St. Louis, MO

    Up and awesome! Wow! Good information. I also buy pictures from yard sales or flea markets if I like the frame! Frames can be very expensive too - and sometimes I can find really good ones - even if the picture is not to my taste.

    My mom buys lots of poster art when she travels - she bought a Salvador poster - it was like 6 grand! I have been looking at posters a little closer while at yard sales:)! Like you said - I'm hoping to make a big find!

    I always want art that nobody else can have! Haha!

  • diogenes profile image


    10 years ago from UK and Mexico

    Excellent. I have all my bits on the wall from flea markets - we call them boot-sales here. You rarely are asked for more than $10 and some are amazing. Bob Useful hub...Bob

  • profile image

    Nan Mynatt 

    10 years ago

    Great Hub, I collect prints and some painting by unknown artist. I go to art fairs and resale shops. If you want to create more luxry, you are right fill up your walls with color.


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