Thursday, May 26, 2011

Subway Art

As long as we are still on the subject of baby Harper, I would love to share a “subway art” style of painting that I did for her!  If you are wondering what in the heck subway art is, take a peek at the below images!!

Essentially, subway art is a grouping of words put together in a way to create an interesting piece of art!  The words can describe anything!  It could be city names, family values or for today’s project…. baby birth stats!   I have been seeing this uber trendy style of art all around my crafty blogs, and have been dying to try one out!  So baby Harper gets to be the test subject!! 

Besides my college “color theory” class and the one “watercolor” class I took, I honestly have no experience in painting!  I know the basics of mixing colors but that’s about it!!  :)   With that said, I think it’s time to push my creative boundary!  How hard could it be?  My motto is..Imperfection = Beauty!!  So with that in mind…Here we go!!

Supplies:  Canvas, acrylic paint, brushes, chalk, sharp pencil, sandpaper (optional)

Step One:  Start with a blank canvas!  Any size!  I used a 16x20, purchased from Hobby Lobby.

Step Two:  Choose your color palate.   Since this is for a baby girls’ room I am using pink, purple, brown, and ivory.  (I like to mix my paint together and create my own fancy colors!)

Step Three:  Paint the entire canvas (top and sides.)  Mine is not painted evenly!  I wanted to see depth and variation in the background color; therefore some areas are darker and lighter than others! (It also gives it more of a vintage look, which I am allll over these days!!)

Step Four:  (See Above) With the computer program of your choice, create the layout of your words.  I went back and forth playing with different options until I found one I liked.    All of the words are the same font, however I varied the sizes to create interest!  I intentionally left some dead space so I could add a little something extra at the end! Once you are pleased with your layout, print it to match the exact size of your canvas.  I took my file to Kinko’s and had them print it for me. 

Step Five:  Take your print out and color the entire back side of it with chalk!  (I know this sounds crazy, but trust me!!)

Step Six:  Tape your print out to your painted canvas.  Take a sharp pencil or pen and trace over the letters on your print out.  (I am terrified of free-handing text, so this technique will allow you to have guidelines when you paint!) 

Step Seven:  Untape the print out and see your chalk guidelines.  Don’t worry if it looks like a big dusty mess, the chalk will wipe right off without even knowing it was there!

Step Eight:  Paint inside your guidelines.  Don’t worry if it’s not perfect!  Remember my Motto!! 

(There were a few words I wanted to emphasize, therefore I painted them a shade lighter!)

Optional:  After the painting is complete, you can take a piece of sandpaper and gently rub across the top of the painting.  This will create a worn, vintage look! 

Step Nine:  Add the interest!!  In my case baby bling!!!  I love art with multiple textures!!  Therefore, I attached ribbon, painted buttons, a flower and some jewelry studs to the canvas.  (If you remember in step 4, I left blank spaces while creating the layout!  This allowed me to have room to place these extra accessories)

Step Ten:  Enjoy your art!!

This was actually quite easy!!!  I think I will make one for myself next!!  :)


  1. I am just reminding everyone about tonights link party that runs Friday evening through Mondays!
    I also have an ongoing give away link party now too.
    Hope to see you soon.
    come strut your stuff

  2. Not at all sure how I came across your blog this morning...but I am so happy I did! I love this artwork so much, and I haven't heard of using chalk as a transfer but I know it will come in use a lot for me now! I am so happy to be your newest follower!