How To Create Custom Artwork for That Special Someone

Picture of How To Create Custom Artwork for That Special Someone
Valentine's Day is coming up, and being an artist, I decided to make something special and one-of-a-kind for my girlfriend this year. I'll show you how to create a painting that comes straight from your heart (har har).
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Step 1: Get an Idea and Gather Your Materials

Picture of Get an Idea and Gather Your Materials
Well, first thing's first. You need an idea of what you're going to be creating in order to make something. Since this was a Valentine's present, I decided on painting a heart. Since my girlfriend and I both have a somewhat morbid sense of humor, I decided on painting a human heart.

Now You'll need to decide what you'll use and gather what you'll need. For this, I decided to use oil paint sticks. Basically it's oil paint with hardener already mixed in, in the form of an over-sized crayon-type thing. You don't have to worry about getting the proportions of paint and hardener right, and these dry overnight.

I used these on a canvas board, and I also had a couple paper towels handy for wiping off my fingers as well as peeling the film off the oil sticks (more on that later).

Step 2: Prepare Your Canvas and Design

Picture of Prepare Your Canvas and Design
Now that you have your idea and materials ready, you need to get your design ready to paint. You can simply start painting on the canvas if you like, but I prefer to have my composition all worked out before I put down any wet media. It saves time and energy in the long run.

I just drew my design right on the canvas in pencil. You don't have to do any special preparations on the canvas unless you've stretched your own, then you may want to put a primer coat of gesso or white paint on so the canvas doesn't absorb the paint.
Absolutely love it man! I'm gonna head out to Hobby Lobby and grab me a set, so I can start painting some stuff. Sounds like its much easier than regular Oils.

amazing instructable! also, well explained details.
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I loved your painting, so I decided to go ahead and do my own copy of it! ...however I did it with oil paints instead of the oil sticks. However this 'ible made me go out and get a set, and they are awesome! Great job!
cole painting.jpg
Bericender6 years ago
that one`s insanely good looking :D
SWV17877 years ago
Do you also paint on objects like motorcycle tanks?
SGutshall (author)  SWV17877 years ago
I haven't ever tried, but I would probably not use these on something like that. I would go with something like auto paint or engine paint specifically made to stand up to those conditions.
Yeah, you would have to use airbrushing though which is a whole 'nother kind of artistry. Traditional paint would not create a smooth surface, and things like a clear coat are easier to apply on a flat surface such as airbrush.
Neat, well done.
SGutshall (author)  Spl1nt3rC3ll7 years ago
Really cool job! Do you think you can do the Instructables Robot?
SGutshall (author)  GorillazMiko7 years ago
Thanks! I do have an extra canvas in my basement...I'll see if I can maybe find some time.
Keith-Kid7 years ago
And another thing i forgot to say, you explain the details very well and nice pictures.OK I'll stop now
SGutshall (author)  Keith-Kid7 years ago
haha Thanks.
cry_wolf7 years ago
Great work, i suck at oil pastels, etc. I am a traditional painter and sketcher but i never knew it could blend together so easily. I use finger blending a ton in my sketches, so i think that i could probably do well with this medium. Nice instructable! :D
SGutshall (author)  cry_wolf7 years ago
Thanks! Yeah, the oil sticks are like thick oil paint so they blend really easily and you have lots of working time depending on how thick you put it on. Once you get the hang of it you can go through a piece really quickly if you do all the colors at once. (I like doing one color at a time because I feel like it's less messy and helps keep me organized.)
Keith-Kid7 years ago
I think that with some red in the background it would look very lovey-dovey. With these dark colors it looks passionate. Just a thought. Again very cool
SGutshall (author)  Keith-Kid7 years ago
I thought of that, but then I decided to specifically avoid red in the background to add more contrast since there's red in the heart already. Thanks for the comments though!
Keith-Kid7 years ago
Very nice!
SGutshall (author)  Keith-Kid7 years ago