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Whats a good way to get a tattoo design faithfully onto a cloth canvas, to be painted later? Answered

I'm putting a poem I wrote for my girlfriend in an old frame and canvas. I'm not terribly artistic, visually, but she loves and identifies with the old Sailor Jerry style tattoo flash art. Ideally, I'd like an image of similar sort on canvas below the poem's layer, so that it appears to be behind the poem. But, like I said, I'm not terribly artistic visually and am not sure where to start with this



Best Answer 9 years ago

Just an idea, but how about a freezer paper stencil? Print out a copy of the tattoo onto regular paper. Place a piece of freezer paper onto the back of the image shiny side down and then use a sharp craft knife to cut out all of the black outline sections, ensuring that you cut through the freezer paper as well. Once you've discarded all of the outlines you'll be left with one piece of freezer paper with a big hole in it and lots of little "island" sections of stencil for where you want the canvas untouched. With an ordinary stencil you have to ensure that these "islands" remain joined to hold the stencil together, but with freezer paper that's not a problem. Place the freezer paper on the canvas shiny side down and briefly iron it. This will make the shiny waxy surface on the paper melt and adhere to the canvas. Once you've placed and attached the main "hole" section of the stencil, you can take time to put your islands accurately in place before ironing those too. Once the whole stencil is in place you can give it a spray of fabric or acrylic paint. With that outline to serve as a guide, colouring the rest of the image shouldn't be too hard. A caveat: I've never tried freezer paper stencils on a highly textured fabric like canvas before, so I cannot vouch for whether or not the pits in the surface will allow the paint to run. I'd advise experimentation before commiting. If hand-making the whole thing is of less importance, how about tracking down an image and printing it onto t-shirt transfer paper?

there's also the option of doing a xerox transfer. basically you make a xerox of whatever you want reversed, then you lie it face down and rub the back of the paper with acetone or mineral spirits, this will transfer the outline, and you can paint over it later.

You can print out your image at actual size, then rub soft pencil lead on the back of the image. You can transfer your image to the canvas by placing the paper lead side down, and then tracing it with stylus (a crochet needle is good). This will result in a reasonably accurate set of guidelines - although you will have to do some clean up work to make your image look good. You might also consider using an opaque projector - ask around at your local art supply store - they range from fairly cheap to overtly expensive.

You could always have the design printed to canvas, and then write over it. Check out http://www.gristudios.com. The art can be printed straight to the canvas, clearcoated, stretched, and shipped. From there you can write/paint directly to the canvas.