Wooden Wall Art | the Wolverine!

About: Hello. My name's Arpan. At present, I'm an Aerospace engineering student. I love painting and making stuff, stuff that you could buy but better when you DIY!

Recently we got the house painted in fresh new colours. I don't prefer plain walls staring at me. Neither do I like too much of deep colours or some sort of furniture preventing me seeing a minimalistic looking wall. So obviously the best way to tackle these two issues is to hang a cool painting on it. So now what? Should I go get a painting from somewhere?
Nah! I would love to make one on my own. Partly because I would never be satisfied by a painting I buy, and partly because I'm an artist (not really :p). So I started 'Youtubing' some good wall art for inspiration and came across a very neat and satisfying video of a painting project. Here's the video:

I really loved how the final painting came out and wanted to try it out. By the way I'm a Marvel fan, be it Avengers or X-Men. But wait! Although I can make something like that on a paper and just stick it to the wall, the wall expects more from me! Sticking a sheet of paper? Nah!
So in this instructable, I will be making a pretty neat looking wolverine wall art which is a modified version of the one in the video and surprisingly easy to make! Let's get making!

So here's what you'll need:


Planks of wood (small ones)

Nails Wood glue (optional)

Sand paper (optional)

Paint (not watercolor!)

Chart/card paper (optional)

Paper cutter

Carbon paper

Paint brush (if you're not using spray paint)

Wood stain (optional)

Handsaw (optional)

As you can see most of the materials are optional. This is to keep the build as simple as possible (also because I didn't have most of these :p )

Step 1: Finding the Perfect Wood

Finding the right wood for the artwork isn't that complicated. You need some sort of wood that has good texture on it.
For example, have a look at the one I used. I had this carton lying around. The wood on it has pretty good texture, perfect for our artwork. Just look at the holes where the nails were pushed through, the dark circles around the holes will make a great solid looking background for our character.

Now in case the wood you have isn't already cut into small rectangles like mine had, you can use a handsaw or simply get it cut from a carpenter. The size can be of your choice. I would suggest cutting it in 4 rectangles each of 22×8cm or something similar. This is what my rectangles measure and would result in almost A4 size when attached together. Anyway is not mandatory, you have the freedom to choose any dimension.

If you prefer staining the wood, you're free to do so. But try not to apply a dark stain because your artwork will not stand out then. Anyway my wood had a very nice look and didn't require any stain. Neither did I have any nor was I interested in buying some. So I left it as it was...

Step 2: Make the Wooden Canvas

When you're satisfied with your background (the wood), attach the rectangles to make a canvas shape. You can use any technique to do it. I just nailed two long strips of wood to the back. Look at the images for a clear idea. The nails in used were half inch ones and had very tiny heads, so I had to bend them after they were 3/4th inside. It's not mandatory though.
I thought of applying a layer of wood glue between the rectangles for more rigidity, but I didn't have any. I finally applied a little adhesive, just for the peace of mind.

Step 3: Select Your Design

Now we will prepare the design/character of our wall art. You don't need to be a super designer or a professional to do it. It's simple, just Google something. As I've already mentioned, I'm going to make a modified version of the artwork in the video I linked earlier. So mine is going to be wolverine. In case you want to go with the same, I've attached the PDF of the of the silhouette. The image above is not of my own, I downloaded it from here

Your next step depends on your art skills because for the next few hours, you will need to involve in a serious sketching session....Nah, just kidding. All you need is to get the PDF printed. There are two pages in the PDF. Get only the first one printed. The second one is for reference when you'll do the painting.

The scaling of the printout matters. It depends on the dimensions of your canvas. Mine was a little larger than A4 size so the PDF is scaled according to that. This is why I suggested cutting the wood accordingly earlier.

Step 4: Create Your Masterpiece!

Let's not keep the canvas waiting for the first line of our masterpiece. We need to find a way to transfer the printed silhouette to the wooden canvas. Actually there are two ways (or more if you can find some).

The first way is the simplest. Just use a paper cutter to cut along the borders of the printed silhouette to make a stencil. You may then stick it on your canvas using some masking tape and spray paint all over. Make sure to keep the rest of the canvas covered properly to avoid unnecessary paint marks. When you remove the stencil, you'll find your artwork ready! But what if you're like me and don't have spray paint.

A more artistic way of doing it is to paint it yourself using regular paint and a paint brush. So let's do this... First get a carbon copy paper and place it on your canvas. Place the printed paper on the carbon paper and start tracing the outlines using a pen or a pencil. Take your own time and and be careful on the lines where two pieces of wood meet, that's were I ended up piercing the paper while tracing. Don't press too hard while tracing. Try to avoid resting your hand with too much pressure on the paper or the carbon paper will leave black/blue marks on the wood. After you're done, lift off the paper and the carbon sheet to reveal the outline. It looks very cool already. But it's still half baked. We need to fill the inside with paint.

Step 5: Fill It With Colour!

While you can choose any color to fill the silhouette, black, in my opinion, will look the best. So I got some black poster paint to start the paint job. I used two types of brushes, a thin one for detailed outlines and a thicker one to fill between them. Do not mix any water with the paint. Directly apply the paint from the bottle. It might seem like wastage of paint, but trust me, application of watery paint will ruin all your hard work. The wood will absorb the water and will make the paint light. To get a solid black silhouette, avoid mixing water.

Take extreme care where there are small gaps to be left. If you paint a tiny part where you shouldn't have painted, there's no way to remove it. If it was a white sheet of paper, you could have applied white paint to erase your mistake, but this is wood. There's no way to rewind the clock.

At first, I was a little skeptical about how poster colours will respond to the wood but finally I was really satisfied on how it came out. The whole painting process went on very smoothly and I was never disappointed.

Step 6: And You're Done!

I was surprised how the final artwork came out. It might seem like boasting, but I really didn't expect it to be this good.
It's not easy to convey through the photos, but trust me, the painting looks way better in real. Look at the effect the texture of the wood has on the final artwork. The dark holes at the two sides give the whole thing a pretty bold look. For now, I just placed it on a piece of furniture against the wall, I will later add a hook to hang it on the wall. This is a simple project, some people may just read a little of the instructions and understand the whole making process. Thank you for reading the whole instructable. I hope you'll enjoy making it as much as I did!

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