I’ve been really looking forward to sharing today’s project with you. Do you have paintings in your family that everyone would like to have but of course only one person can have the original? If you do then this post is for you.
Let me explain a little more. My parents have an original oil painting of my great-grandmother from 1913 which I have always loved (see my parents’ home tour by clicking HERE). You can see it below hanging in their home.
It was painted in Berlin by an artist named Höppner. Her name was Margarete (Martha) E. Kaufmann (maiden name Schlieben). There was an original matching painting of my great-grandfather too, who was the director of transportation in Berlin and the one who introduced the doubledecker buses. The painting was unfortunately dumped somewhere by my grandmother’s sister-in-law. She was so angry about that and it makes me angry too. I’d love to have that painting of him.
Below you can see the RK-Wagen (bus) which was named after my great-grandfather. RK standing for Robert Kaufmann the ABOAG-Director (read more HERE). His full name was Karl Robert Theodor Kaufmann (1873-1943).
Maybe one day someone will find the painting of my great-grandfather. You never know who might be reading my blog, right? Haha, I know, wishful thinking. Nobody really pays attention to old oil paintings of middle-aged men.
This is what he looked like:
The below page is out of the book “100 Jahre Berliner Kraftomnibusse – Die ersten 40 Jahre” (HERE).
Anyways, sorry for getting sidetracked here…
DIY oil painting art hack of my great-grandmother
Let’s get back to the painting. Maybe some of you also have a painting in their family that everyone would like to have and reproducing a version of that special heirloom painting is a way that other family members can enjoy that special piece of art as well. This project is the perfect way for me to have my great-grandmother at home too.
This idea formed in my head a while ago but I wasn’t sure how I could accomplish it. I started by asking my parents if they could have someone scan or photograph the painting so I could have a large and printable file of it. My parents took it to a local photography studio in my hometown and they made sure to have the right lighting so there was no glare. This is totally doable to do yourself but my parents had no clue how to do it and I wasn’t there to do it myself.
Can you believe that she is 40 years old in this painting? Which is crazy to me because she is 4 years younger than me now.
After that, I started to search for companies who could help me make my dream of reproducing that painting come to life. I found that company in pictureframes.com because they offer the printing and framing all in one.
So here it goes and I also made another little video for you:
Materials needed for this project:
- various sized brushes (HERE)
- matte and semi-gloss gel medium (HERE and HERE)
- scanned or photographed large digital file of the artwork
- printed canvas
- appropriately sized frame according to canvas (chose this beautiful frame HERE)
- acquire a large printable file of your original art.
- Have it printed on canvas (upload your image to pictureframes.com by clicking HERE).
- Choose and order a frame (chose this beautiful frame HERE), and I asked to make the canvas removable. Some of my other favorite frames were HERE, HERE, and HERE. I definitely didn’t want the same looking frame as my parents had.
- Add texture to your printed canvas with a glaze/gel medium. This is the part where you need to use the different sized brushes so you can match the strokes in the original painting.
Below you can see how the size of the brush fits within the painting’s proportions. I used smaller brushes for the face and the largest brush for the background.
The gel is white when you apply it but dries clear. I applied some of it to a small area at the bottom of the painting. After it dried I decided to use a mixture of semi-gloss and matte gel to give it the look that some of the other paintings I own have. None of them are totally matte or totally semi-gloss. They all vary in their sheen and texture.
Here you can see how I mimicked the stroke directions and sizes.
I let it all dry and plopped it back into the frame. Voila! And done.
I had to take some photos of it hanging over my antique settee because it matches so well even though that’s not the place where it will hang permanently.
My great-grandmother’s permanent spot will be on the wall next to the kitchen. I even made sue before sizing and printing that the entire piece of art would be the right size for this wall and not the size of the original. It happens to quite smaller than the one my parents have.
I’m so happy how it turned out and that pictureframes.com made it all possible for me.
So go check out their website and see all the beautiful options they have also for printing your family photos. Click HERE to head to their site.
I’ve previously talked about my ancestry as well and you can click HERE for my 4 favorite ancestry research tips.
Check out more art project ideas: