I’ve had friends express interest in having me paint them something before, but when my dear friend Christine asked for my help in making her friend a birthday present…I got nervous. Christine sent me a picture of her friends tattoo. She expressed the tattoo represented a lot for her, and the small dove was simplistic and beautiful.
The design’s simple and clean lines made me feel pressured to accurately recreate the same style onto canvas. I asked Christine the specifics of her request; what size canvas did she have in mind? What color should the canvas be? What color should the outline be in? When did she need it by? I marked my calendar for February 21st as she expressed she would need it by that afternoon. Below is the original image she sent me:
(Tattoo located on left side of ribcage) (Small canvas chosen and painted light blue)
I wanted to ensure the tattoo was represented well on the canvas. It took me a few tries to get the dove drawn to how I thought it looked best. My attempts were all drawn out on paper first; I wanted to run the design past Christine before I went ahead and started on the canvas. Plus, if I had messed up directly on the canvas, it would have been harder to correct. After I drew the template, I decided to use carbon paper to help transfer it onto the painted canvas. Carbon paper is an easy, and mess-free solution allowing you to copy over an image to another surface.
(The original outline I constructed) (Carbon paper that I used)
Once the difficult task of transferring the sketch onto the canvas was complete, I was able to move onto painting the image. I used black paint and a thin, rounded brush to help me get the most accuracy. I find that putting paint on disposable plates works best. I used acrylic paints because I love the ease of application and that they dry so quickly.