I started out with simple, inexpensive miniature canvases from none other than Wal-Mart, of all places. Just a side note, I ordered mini-canvases from Dick Blick after Christmas to compare them, and I actually like Wal-Mart's better. However, I still need to experiment some more on Dick Blick's before making a final decision.
So, I used Dick Blick Artist Acrylic paints and a little of Liquitex Basics, but I definitely liked DB's acrylics better. They are thicker and I found I had more control with them and put fewer layers on the canvas because they also seemed to have better coverage. I also used Pigma Micron Archival Ink pens to write the names with and also for some other little decorations. I tried to make each canvas very specific to the individual, so I tried to use their favorite colors and different designs for each person. I wanted to take more photos of the canvases, but it took me quite awhile just to get four of them done, and it was getting close to Christmas, so I had to hurry to finish them in time. Needless to say, I only got a few photos of them before they were given as gifts.
Here is what they looked like. The backgrounds that the canvases are up against are actually the gift bags they got attached to:
This is April's. Her name got messy when I painted a thin layer of acrylic gloss medium over it and the "waterproof" ink I used smudged. I had to fight like crazy for fix it before the medium dried on me, and I'm not entirely happy with the way it came out, but it could have been so much worse.
This one was for my boss, Kaitlin. She loves pink and glitter. I used a .05 pen for this name, the other canvases I used a .03 pen. I didn't like how thick the letters were with the .05 pen, which is why I switched for the rest of the canvases.
This is Jordan's. It's a little unusual because the "r" in the middle of her name is capitalized while the surrounding letters are lower case. The capital "R" allowed me to use a bit more creativity than the lower case one would have, so I just made an executive creative decision.
And finally, this is Peggy's. The background for her name in the middle of the oval is actually pink, but it's hard to tell in this photo.
For each of the canvases, I used a piece of elasticized material, each of a different color, and used my glue gun to glue them to the top of the canvas in a loop (I attached them to the back wood support). That allowed the canvas to be hung up and allowed me a way to attach the canvases to the bag the presents were in for each person.
It was fairly difficult to write on the canvases with the pens. I had a hard time drawing a straight line or getting a spot exact. The canvas was pretty smooth as far as canvas goes, but it was still not real easy to do. You can see the lines are crooked and wobbly. But I had a ball doing these and my co-workers and boss all seemed to like them very much!
So, what creative ideas did you guys come up with for the Christmas season??? I'd love to hear all about them.
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!