- Vinyl. The color does not matter. I used transfer tape since it is cheaper than vinyl.
- Paint brushes
I decided to paint a norther light scene with two layers of trees. In order to be able to tell the difference between the two layers of tree, I painted one set black and the other gray. If making the two different layers of trees seems to complicated, then you can just do one layer.
I started out by finding two sets of trees I liked. I then used my Cricut machine to cut the tree outlines out of my transfer tape. Removable vinyl, stencil vinyl, and other materials will also work. I choose transfer tape because it was cheaper than vinyl. The transfer tape was a bit difficult to use, because it was clear, and thus harder to see. I used transfer tape to transfer my cut out transfer tape trees onto my canvas.
Once you have your design cut out, you will want to remove the background of your design, and keep the silhouette. If you are only doing one silhouette, then start off by painting your canvas completely in the color you want your silhouette to be. Then, place the vinyl of your silhouette over the dried painted canvas.
If you are doing two silhouettes like I did, then you will paint the canvas in the color of your first layer of silhouette, in my case gray. I actually did not cover the entire canvas in the gray, because I knew about where my tree line would start and stop. I then placed my first layer of tree vinyl/transfer tape silhouette over my dried gray paint. I then painted everything black, even over the first layer of transfer tape I put down. I painted the entire canvas black because I wanted some of the black to show through my northern light colors. Once the black paint dried, I placed my second layer of tree silhouette.
The next step is to add your colors. I choose blues and purples, but you could choose any colors you want. The different color choices will give your canvas a completely different look. Remember to keep your vinyl or transfer tape on your canvas when applying your colors. It will be removed once everything is dry.
I started off by painting the top of my canvas with a nice purple paint. I did not have a hard stop line for where to stop with my purple. I just did brush stokes into the next section of my canvas. I then took a darker purple pink color and painted it in the next section of my canvas. I made sure to blend this new color with the first layer of purple at the very top. I then finished the last section with a bright blue color. I blended it into my second purple pink layer, and covered over some of my transfer tap trees. I ended up going back and adding more of the top purple color, since it got a bit covered up by the other two layers. There is no real rhyme or reason to this part. Just apply the colors you like in the order you want, and make sure to blend them together a little with the surrounding layers. I tend to use 3 to 4 colors in a sunset painting, but you could use more or less.
The painting still seemed a little plain. It was time to add the stars to the night sky. I took a paint brush with stiff bristles and put some white paint on it. I then used my thumb to flick some of the white paint onto the canvas. This created my random stars. I like how some areas have more stars or bigger stars, and other areas have smaller or fewer stars. This randomness makes the painting seem more realistic. I chose to make a lot of stars in my night sky, but you could do just a few if you want. Just be careful as this method can be a little messy.
Once everything is dry, it is time to remove the vinyl/transfer tape and reveal how your painting turned out! The first layer came off really easily. The second layer was a little harder to grab, but it did come off. My transfer tape was pretty with the different colors and stars on it. I might keep pieces of it and see if I can use some of the trees for a future project.
There are so many different ways you could use this technique. You do not just have to make a silhouette at night. You could make other silhouettes and put bright paint splatters around them. Have you tried doing a canvas painting with transfer tape or vinyl to block off areas of your painting? If so, how did they turn out? Feel free to share your creations. Overall, I am happy with how this piece turned out, and I will probably do this technique in the future, but in another way.