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Due to the Corona virus, the Surface Design workshop has been postponed until this summer. The new date for it will be announced when the Art House re-opens.


I'll be teaching this one-day workshop on March 14, 2020 at the Art House! Learn to design your own unique papers and other materials for collage, card making, scrap booking, journal making etc. I supply all the materials. All you need to bring is a sack lunch and a beverage. Hours are 10-4; fee is $90 per person. Register online at or call 678-543-5777. Act now! Seating is limited!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Re-using Finished Artwork: How to Borrow from an Original

When I needed an image of trees for the collage I'm working on, and did not have time to draw or paint one from scratch, I decided to borrow from a finished painting of three trees I had done a few years ago. But this was a painting that I wanted to remain intact, so I came up with a way to create a paintable duplicate, and was quite happy with the result. Here's what I did:

1. I scanned the original at the highest resolution possible.

The original painting

2. Using photo editing software such as Photoshop Elements, I made any necessary adjustments or corrections. To preserve my changes I did a "Save As.".
3. I printed out a copy of the amended image on a color laser printer, using ordinary photocopier paper. (Or take your file to a photocopy shop to obtain a toner image.)
4. I encased the borrowed image, both front and back, with slightly diluted acrylic gloss medium. making sure every part of the image was completely covered.
5. Once it was thoroughly dry, I decided to change the color of the sky behind the trees to integrate it into my current project, matching the color to the painted surface of my collage. I left the trees just as they were.
6. When I "auditioned" the scanned image against my work in progress, I was happy with the match, but I decided to discard the newly painted background because I discovered I was running dangerously low on gel medium. Collaging the full sheet onto the canvas would have used up too much of it. With the project's delivery date looming and the nearest art supply store an hour's drive away, I opted to conserve what was left of my gel medium, and simply cut the trees out with a scissors. Oddly enough, ditching the background made the trees seem to "pop" just a bit more.
7. The cut out trees were collaged onto my work in progress. Here's how it turned out:

The trees were borrowed from the painting shown in Step 1.     ©2016 Lynn Edwards

By duplicating and then encasing the image in an acrylic medium, you can do just about anything to it, such as adding paint, oil pastels, Derwent Inktense pencils, Tar Gel, etc. The background I painted on the copy of the trees looked terrific, but I could have used any number of other media successfully too. (You'll need to experiment to see what would work best with whatever you're using; pastels, for example, will require that you use a ground with some "tooth." Pastels just slide right off a surface treated with gloss medium.)

So if you've got a painting you don't want to destroy, but need an image from it for another project, borrow freely!

Text and images © 2016 Lynn Edwards

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