A Little Sunshine

Cheap and Easy Art

I really liked the idea of making a piece of canvas art for my daughter's room, and was inspired by this post at Living Well On The Cheap, where Charlotte (and countless others) transfered the lyrics "You are my sunshine" onto a sunny yellow canvas.

Charlotte's version of  "You are my sunshine" canvas art

This idea struck a cord with me, as I often sing it to my girls, and they love it. And they sing it back to me. (awww...)

When tackling my project, I decided I really liked yellow as a background colour - it is after all, the colour of sunshine!

Sunny Yellow

I measured my canvas and created the same sized artboard in Illustrator. I chose the fonts that I liked (Beachman Script and Times) and layed it all out in white on a yellow background so that I could get an idea of what the end result would look like. Before printing, I outlined the font in black to give me a line to trace. 

Illustrator Artboard

I printed out my document at 100%, and it took four pieces of 8.5x11 sheets of paper to get it all done. I then pieced them together to make a finished stencil.

Stencil pieced together

After rubbing a pencil over the back of my new stencil - making sure that there was a good coverage wherever the font's lines were, I turned it right-side up, and centered it on my canvas. I then secured in place with tape, but only on one side so that I could keep lifting it up to check my progress (which I needed to do many times). Once the stencil was secure, I got a ball-point pen and started to trace all the lines.

Tracing the stencil

This transfered the pencil to the canvas, and an outline was borne!

Laborious, but it works.

I got my hands on one of the kids' board books to place under the framed canvas so that while I was applying pressure with my hand, I wasn't stretching the canvas.

The MONSTER under my canvas

Unfortunately, I like detail. So this took a couple of hours to paint, and get right. I really like Charlotte's gradation of yellow, and decided to do that on mine. The downfall to choosing a gradation over a solid, is that going back over mistakes becomes very difficult to hide. A solid background would be much easier to manipulate, and that being said - mine ended up solid by the time I was done.

Here is my finished canvas:

You are my Sunshine!

So, what do you think?
Will you tackle this cheap and easy art project?

I'm glad I did.


p.s. If you'd like to have a copy of my .ai file, just email me and I'll send it your way!


Wow! Your canvas looks amazing! You're so smart to just make your document the same size as your canvas before printing. I don't know why I didn't do it that way!
MamaBHive said…
Thank you for the compliments and the inspiration Charlotte!

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