This is 3/4 inch MDF and spray paint/paint markers. It measures 29 x 39 inches. I can't draw to save my life but I know a little Photoshop and I know how to trace so I was able to make this huge MDF Wolverine wall art and you can too. Keep reading to see how I did it.
1/2 drill bit
small paint brush
3/4 MDF (Any thickness of MDF will work)
Blue Painters Tape
Spray paint colors - Black, Blue, Yellow, Almond, Ivory, Pink, Khaki and Red
Paint Makers - Black and White
This is the comic with the original image penciled by Jeff Matsuda. I own a copy of this and scanned it in to Photoshop. I make sure that my canvas is set to 8.5 x 11 inches. If you use an image you found online just make sure its a large image so all the fine detail will be captured. Next I make a duplicate of this layer and switch one layer off.
Next in Photoshop I go to Image>Adjustments>Threshold and adjust the slider to what looks about right. This will turn the image black and white and vary the thickness or heaviness of the black lines. Every image is different so adjust the slider to where you can see most of the black line work. Once I am happy with the thickness of the lines I click ok and then carefully erase the background. (My version of Photoshop is super old but it does what I need it to do)
If you don't have Photoshop you can just print out an enlarged version of the entire image but this will waste a lot of ink $$$.
The second image is what it looks like all cleaned up.
I print out the image on to 16 sheets. I do this be selecting the "tiling/poster" option on my printer (sometimes found in the "Advanced Options" printer menu). It prints out an enlarged image on to multiple sheets of paper. My printer also prints guide lines for lining up the sheets. Here I am trimming the excess paper so the image will line up.
Instructable on how to enlarge images and print them Just read step 1 of this Instructable if you want more info on this topic.
Once every thing is trimmed I line them up and tape them together at the seams this will become my paper template. Remember to tape up the back seams as well.
Next I use my X-acto knife to cut out the image, this will become my template. I just got the self healing cutting mat and love it, I used to use a large plastic cutting board but this mat works way better. The last picture shows the final paper template.
Next I tape the template on to a piece of 3/4 inch MDF and I trace the entire image with a pencil.
I remove the paper template and tidy up the tracing by filling in any gaps left from the tape. Then I secure the MDF to a work surface and use a Jigsaw to cut out the shape. For the holes in the middle of the MDF I first drill a large hole, about 1/2 inch, so that I can slip the jigsaw blade in and start the cut.
MDF creates a lot of dust make sure you wear proper dust mask and eye protection. Its pretty nasty and gets everywhere, stay safe.
The last pic shows what the MDF cut out looks like, I wipe off and clean up all the dust before moving to the next step.
This is wood glue that I will use to seal the edge of the MDF. The exposed edge of MDF will be difficult to paint if its not sealed because it will soak up any paint that is applied. Brushing on a thin coat of glue will alleviate that problem.
Once the glue was dry I painted the entire piece black. White paint probably would have been a better choice but I had black paint on hand so that's what I used.
Next I looked at the original image and paid attention to where the yellow sections were, then I spray painted that area yellow. I had to do several coats of the yellow to cover the black. That's why I said I should have used white paint instead. Live and learn.
I need to mask off the blue sections so I placed my paper template back on the MDF and noted where the blue areas started and ended.
Then I applied blue tape making sure to cover those transition areas where the blue met the yellow paint.
With everything masked off I used a ball point pen and traced the blue areas pushing down firmly. I apply steady pressure so that it will leave an impression on the blue tape.
Its hard to make out in the picture but the tracing of the paper template leaves impression lines I can trace on the blue tape. I used the same ball point pen to trace the designs.
With all the blue paint sections identified and traced I begin to cut away the blue tape that is covering any blue area. While doing this I will reference the original image and make sure I am masking off the proper section.
This may look a little chaotic but this is what the MDF looks like ready for blue paint. I usually double check everything to make sure I have the right sections taped off before spraying the paint. Once I'm sure I spray about 2 coats of paint sometimes one coat will do.
After the paint dries I peel off the tape. The last image shows the progress so far now it is starting to look like something.
A lot of this is "rinse and repeat" of the masking off and tracing.
I repeat the tracing process for the skin tone color. Except instead of taping off entire sections I used a thin masking tape and newspaper to mask off the areas I want to protect.
With everything masked off I spray the skin tone color.
I used three different colors to get the skin tone color. I used almond, ivory and a pink spray paints to get a skin tone color. I first apply the almond color which is the darkest then the Ivory and lastly the pink. The pink color is sort of misted on I don't want a solid color just a touch of pink here and there. Its not perfect but it looks good enough.
I decided to make a separate paper stencil for the bone claws, I used my light box to trace the claws on to a piece of poster board. If you don't have a light box you can tape the template up to a window and use that as a light box. It works just as well, its just a little tougher on the shoulders.
With the claws traced and cut out I apply the stencil to the MDF. I use some washers to weigh down the stencil and help prevent over spray.
I repeated the process for the other set of claws. I used a stick to hold down the one small section of the template. This was to help prevent overspray.
The claws are done. Its really starting to look like something and I kind of like this minimalist look too.
Its time for the details and you guessed it more tracing. I said if you can trace you can make this too.
The paper template goes back on to the MDF. Its the same idea as before. Apply firm pressure as you trace, so that it will leave a slight impression in the paint this time.
The picture doesn't really pick up the faint impressions left from the ball point pen but they are there. Now using my black paint maker I trace the "impression" lines. I reference the original image to make sure I am getting the line work right. My lines are not perfect but I think they are close enough.
I work a section at a time little by little. I try not to do too much at once because it can get overwhelming and confusing.
A section at a time does the trick.
I repeat the tracing process one section at a time and then draw the lines with the paint marker.
I did have to mix some red and pink spray paint and painted in the gums with a small brush, I didn't have a pink paint marker but that would have worked as well, if not better than the paint brush. That was the last bit I did before finishing. Once the whole piece is dry, I like to wait about 3 days to make sure the spray paint has cured, I then spray a clear coat over the entire piece to help protect it.
Lastly I add a "D" ring hook to the back and hang it on the wall.
This is a lot of work but it is very satisfying especially for some one like myself that lacks any artistic talent. I usually don't try to push my videos on to readers but for a project like this I think it is a good source of reference for the instructable. I hope you enjoyed the Instructable and consider making your own.
Participated in the
Colors of the Rainbow Contest