Tuesday, September 13, 2011

oh, deer.

Tony and I had plans for awhile now to create some of our own wall art. We were also pretty certain we wanted to do a deer silhouette. I really like “deer art” and have for some time, even though it’s become a little too trendy lately. But that didn’t stop us, because it’s something we both like, regardless of the fact that I see deer silhouettes popping up all over the place now! So much for originality…

I’ve had this tulip picture from Ikea for about 5 years now, and was getting pretty tired of it. So instead of donating it to Goodwill, we decided to just paint over it and create a blank slate for our new painting, rather than spending money on a large canvas.

For the background of the painting, we bought a sample size container of a charcoal-colored paint (or so we thought). It almost felt wrong to be painting over such a pretty picture! But I knew it was time for a change. Once we started rolling the paint on, we noticed it was a little more green than we thought. Whoops…

But we decided to just go with it. After two coats it was starting to look a little more gray and a little less green. Plus, our living room has no overhead lighting so we knew once it was hung on the wall, it would be hard to tell the exact shade anyways.

Our original plan was to find a silhouette we liked online and then just freehand it. How hard could it be, right? Wrong. Much to my surprise, neither of us are artists. We were afraid it would turn out looking like a high school art project gone wrong. Tony saved the day on this one by suggesting we use an overhead projector to cast the image onto the canvas, and then trace the outline with paint. Genius! We looked on Craigslist and actually found quite a few projectors ranging from $10 to $50. Tony picked one up after work the following day.

I printed out a few options for silhouttes that I found online, and we decided on one that we thought would fit the shape of our canvas the best.

We started by using a Sharpie to trace the outline of the deer onto a clear piece of plastic that Tony cut off the front of an old binder since we didn’t feel like making a trip to Kinko’s to make copies on a transparency. We’re lazy crafty like that.

Then we put the plastic piece onto the projector and set the canvas against the wall to line it up.

Once we decided on the size and placement we liked, we started painting the outline using a off-white acrylic paint. We slid the canvas over a bit because we wanted to extend the grass a few inches further, which is why in this picture the shadow is not lined up with the outline anymore.

Once we finished with the outline, we laid the canvas flat on the ground and filled it in. Pretty simple! We let it dry for a few hours, then introduced it to it’s new home above our couch.

We both loved the way it turned out, and are so happy we decided to buy the projector. It may also come in handy in the future for other artsy projects. I can’t even imagine what the final product would have looked like if we went the freehand route. Maybe, if we were lucky, something like this??

Luckily, we'll never know!


  1. LOVE this and good thinking to just paint over the other one :)

  2. that's so cute too! i like deer as well.. but my main thing is owls and you know those have gotten so over popular it's not even funny!! b/c every time i go out i see an owl thing and i want it and now i have too much lol oh i also like foxes, aren't they cute?? what about Yaks? no one will go there lol

  3. I love owls too! There are super popular though, you're right. Even owl tattoos! We should make yaks popular. :)


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