DIY How to Transfer Photos Onto Canvas

Written by eve frost
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It is possible to translate a beautiful photograph into a piece of art. Although art requires some talent, skill and technique are equally important. As you start working, you will notice that you have an individuality that you can't help but bring to the canvas. The most important thing to remember when creating art is not to judge yourself or the technique in this article. Throw all your inhibitions out the window and trust that this method used by Leonardo Da Vinci will lead you down a path that will amaze you.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 5-inch-by-7-inch photograph of horizontal image
  • 2B art pencil
  • Ruler
  • Skinny black Sharpie marker
  • Eraser
  • Paints
  • Paintbrushes

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  1. 1

    Make a copy of a standard 5-inch-by-7-inch photograph of a horizontal image. The copy you use will be ruined during this project.

  2. 2

    Make pencil marks at 1/2- to 1-inch increments across the top of the photo. Keep the increments consistent. Do the same down the side of the photo.

  3. 3

    Use a black Sharpie marker and ruler to draw a straight line at every mark, creating a grid of squares on your photo. On a horizontal canvas, make as many lines as there are on the photo. (Canvas size determines size of squares.)

  4. 4

    Write a tiny number in the corner of each box at the top of the photo. Write 1 in the first box, 2 in the second and continue for each box across the top. Label boxes on one side of the photo with tiny letters, starting with A. Repeat this on the canvas.

  5. 5

    Draw the exact shapes you see in the photo's box 1A onto the canvas' box 1A. Move on to box 2A and do the same. Repeat until you have drawn your entire photograph on the canvas. Then erase grid lines and numbers from the canvas. Grab some paints and paintbrushes and fill in spaces and add shadows to complete the project.

Tips and warnings

  • When you are familiar with the grid method, you can adjust this technique to any size photograph you wish. Check the links below to learn more about specific painting and drawing techniques.
  • Do not use a photograph smaller than 5 inches by 7 inches because it will be too frustrating to see shapes within grids.
  • If your art doesn't come out the way you want, it's OK. Practice this technique with a sketchpad and magazine ads.

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