I’ve posted pictures here and there of my banner that I recently made, but I wanted to put them all together to show you how it came together. If you remember this tutorial that I did last year, it is very much the same process, only larger. This is a slow and somewhat time consuming process to get started, but this banner will serve me for many years and so I decided to go for it. I started out by cutting my canvas to size. I left about 4″ more on the top and bottom so that I could fold it over to help reinforce the grommets at the end. Then I give each side 2-3 coats of artist’s acrylic gesso. You could also use several coats of a quality latex primer like Kilz, etc. Gesso-ing both sides is particularly important to remove any wrinkles from the canvas and if you plan to use the banner outdoors.
Next, I sketched on my logo and design. I did this free hand but you could also enlarge it at a local copy center and create a stencil if you’re uncomfortable with with free handing it.
Here, you can just make out where I goofed up around the E and the C in second. I ended up erasing and leaving too heavy of a mark so I touched that up with a little more gesso (not pictured) so it wasn’t so visible in the final product.
Next, I gave the background an antiqued wash with watered down shades of brown acrylics. Then I set in to paint the lettering in black. The lettering received two coats of black to make sure it was heavy, dark, and crisp. I find that doing a watery first layer helps me keep the lines the straightest and nice and even. Then I can go back in with a second coat and make sure it is dark and heavy as I like.
Here is the lettering after the first coat. You can see around some of the letters in second and in the word studio that I need to clean up the letters to make them more even and smooth.
Next, I began filling in the details. Since this banner will not only be used at jewelry and bead shows but also to show my mixed media work, I wanted shapes that allude to beads without actually being beads. That’s where these drippy graphic faceted shapes came in. A fun tidbit is that I use the same process to paint these shapes as I do when I actually paint the beads!
Here is the painting part basically finished. From here I added the facets back into the shapes with some graphite, set the grommets, and gave the whole thing several coats of Krylon Crystal Clear Matte Sealer.
Here’s a little action shot! It ended up being just a tad too long because I never elevated my tables. I was actually hoping to hang it on the back wall but that didn’t happen either (but some of you know that diatribe already ;) the one that has to do with me getting there 4 hours late.)
If you try your hand at making your own banner, I’d love for you to send me photos! If you have any questions, feel free to email me or leave a question in the comments and I’ll try my best to answer it!