DIY Relief Painting - Starry Night




Introduction: DIY Relief Painting - Starry Night

About: I am a passionate industrial designer that loves to create all kind of things. I also studied some semesters of Robotics at the university. I love learning and teaching as well. If you have any questions abo…

I have always had a great fascination for Van Gogh's Starry Night painting and on the internet, I found that there are high relief painting kits to paint, among them is Van Gogh's. I did a search for these in my country and couldn't find them so I decided to create my own.

With this method that I am going to teach you in this instructable, it is not only possible to create existing paintings with relief but also to create your own paintings!

I decided to divide this Instructable into 3 parts:

  • First part: Easel
  • Second part: The starry night in high relief
  • Third part: Painting


First part: Easel

  1. Wooden stick (cedar) of 91cm x 1cm x 1cm
  2. Screw and nut
  3. 2 wood screws
  4. Brown paint
  5. Small handsaw

Second part: The starry night in high relief

  1. 2 letter size sheets
  2. Styrofoam sheet
  3. White cement
  4. Hot glue
  5. Pyrographer
  6. Vaseline
  7. Rule
  8. Marker
  9. Cutter

Third part: Painting

  1. Acrylic paints

Step 1: First Part: Easel

When I started creating the project I thought about the possibility of hanging this painting on the wall or perhaps leaving it on a table. Finally, I decided that the option that I liked the most was to leave it on a table, so I decided to create this easel not to paint the painting but to use it decoratively as a support for it.

Step 2:

Cut the stick in half. And one of those halves cut it in half too.

Step 3:

The other will also be cut in half but slanted. For this, mark a point in the middle, and with the ruler mark an inclined line that passes through that point, then cut.

Step 4:

I decided to cut the ends a bit, of the sticks that ended with the slanted cut.

Step 5:

Although I saw on some examples of small easels that the screws and nuts that hold it up were against the inclined sides, I didn't like this. Therefore, I decided to make some cuts with a mototool that would allow the screw and the nut to fit better and therefore work better.

Step 6:

I tied the sticks together with masking tape to make it easier to make the hole for the screw to go through. After making the hole I put the screw and the nut.

Step 7:

I made some marks 3cm from the bottom of 2 of the sticks and made some holes there.

Step 8:

I copied these marks on the remaining stick (the one that will be used horizontally) and made some small marks with the mototool to start the hole that the screws would later follow.

Step 9:

I finally painted the easel.

Step 10: Second Part: the Starry Night in High Relief

There are many ways to create molds, possibly the most common one for making cement figure molds is with silicone rubber (as used in the instructable: High Detailed Long Lasting Mold for CEMENT TINY FIGURES). This time I was thinking of making a single-use mold that would be cheap, so I decided to give Styrofoam a try. Surprisingly, the mold was not damaged and in this case, it can have more uses.

Step 11:

To create the mold, the first thing I did was look for a coloring image of the starry night on the internet and after finding it I rotated it horizontally. Then I printed two copies of this on bond paper.

Step 12:

I cut off the leftovers and measured the sides. I then copied these measurements onto the Styrofoam sheet. And I added 4 sections, 3 cm wide each for the sides when we create the mold.

Step 13:

Cut the Styrofoam according to the lines.

Step 14:

I tried several ways to copy the drawings on the styrofoam but these didn't work for me, so I finally decided to cut small figures on the paper so that it would work as a stencil so I could draw those figures on the styrofoam.

Step 15:

After drawing several small figures I made more cuts in the sheet to be able to draw larger ones. After having several figures that served as a guide, with the printed sheet next to me, I finished drawing what was missing from the painting.

Step 16:

I have seen many people on the internet making Styrofoam sculptures with what seem to be hot Styrofoam cutters, so I decided to test it with a pyrograph I had at home and I must say that I loved the result.

What I wanted to do was give more depth to the figures below, the tree and the moon, and fill the rest of the painting with less deep lines but with an appearance similar to Van Gogh's brushstrokes.

Step 17:

When I finished the process of marking all the lines with the pyrograph, I hot glued the 3cm wide pieces of styrofoam we had cut, to the sides of the "painting" to create a kind of open box on the top, which will be the mold.

Step 18:

I did some tests with Styrofoam before doing this project and the cement was sticking in some parts, so I decided to cover all the Styrofoam with Vaseline to prevent it from sticking.

Step 19:

For the preparation of the cement I took into account a piece of advice that a university professor always gave me, he said that for craft projects like this one, the cement should be mixed with water until it had a consistency similar to milk cream and then it could be poured into the mold.

After being poured into the mold, it is tapped (very gently) by dropping the mold approx 2 cm several times until no more air bubbles come out.

Step 20:

When it gets dry it can be taken out of the mold

Step 21: Third Part: Painting

It was difficult to decide to paint the painting, I love how it looks with high relief in white, but I decided to finally paint it and possibly in the future take another copy of the mold to leave it in white.

Step 22:

Before painting it, I cleaned the piece to reduce the amount of Vaseline it had, I did this with a toothbrush, water, and liquid soap, then I cleaned it with a napkin.

To paint it I used acrylic paints, first painting large areas with the color that predominated in them, for example yellow, yellow with white, and some shades of blue.

Step 23:

Then with smaller brushes, I started to add details with other colors. I did this by gently brushing so that those details that were in high relief were painted.

Step 24:

Then I painted the lower part, first filling parts with color since I knew that later I would add edges with black paint so that these figures could be understood (for example the church).

Step 25:

I painted the tree with a very dark brown (almost black) and then I used lighter brown and green, brushing gently so that the high relief details would be painted. Finally with a thin brush, I outlined some elements with black paint.

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    1 day ago

    Bellissimo questo istruibile! Lo proverò di sicuro!


    2 days ago on Step 25

    Great directions! I can't wait to try it.


    8 days ago

    This is so clever, love it!

    Lina Maria
    Lina Maria

    Reply 3 days ago

    thank you!!! :) I'm really glad you like it :)


    Tip 4 days ago on Step 9

    I was surprised to see you painting the cedar of your easel. Cedar is such a beautiful wood and also contains oil that resists a lot of paints. I would just oil it or spray it with verathane or shellac to bring out its grain.

    Lina Maria
    Lina Maria

    Reply 3 days ago

    oh! ok ok, I know nothing about wood, I will try what you are saying next time, what kind of oil would you use? (And I'll google verathane and shellac ...)
    thank you


    4 days ago on Step 25

    Thank you so much for this instructible. And you picked the right painting to get me interested!