Brick loves to play catch, and run along the beach. But I am told he is not a fan of waves. So the piece I create for him, needed to have him on the beach, but not in the water.
I really loved the photos of him on the beach and how they had some seaweed or other debris that had washed up, so I knew I wanted to include that detail on the finished image.
With all of this in mind I started my usual process of the loose sketch, local colors and then adding in the details. After the client reviewed the piece she suggested some changes to his body so a variation was done until we came upon one she felt looked most like Brick and his playful spirit on the beach.
With the final art approved, it was onto the second phase of all my art projects.
The artwork is printed onto canvas using an Epson 3880 printer which has waterproof inks, which is key. It then has to dry for at least 24 hours.
Once fully dry and cured I then begin applying three coats of varnish onto the piece. The varnish I use Premiere Art Gloss Eco Print Shield is made specifically for printed canvas, so do your research if you decide to try this yourself!
You have to allow anywhere between 15-30 minutes between coats.
Once the third coat is applied, it is recommended to allow it to dry 2-3 hours and then gallery wrap the canvas onto the wood stretchers before the varnish cures to hard and leads to cracking.
I love using a product called Simply Elegant Gallery Wraps, so easy to work with and such nice clean corners when you are done. With the canvas wrapped and ready to go it's now time to apply the gel embellishing medium to select areas of the image to add depth and interest to the final artwork.
I use Premiere Art Eco Elegance Embellishing Gel which is also made for printed canvas and has to be applied AFTER the piece has been varnished.
For this piece I focus on the wave and crashing water rolling into the shore. The seaweed on the beach. And then I just add a little brush stroke texture to Brick himself, along with building up a bit on his nose and his favorite ball in his mouth.
The embellishing gel dries totally clear and needs at least 24 hours to dry, sometimes a bit longer depending on how thick it is applied and the air quality. If its humid for example, it takes longer to fully cure.
Once it has dried, I then mix some acrylic paints and painter over some of the texture areas to add even more depth and dimension to them. It really makes for such a dramatic effect when viewed in person. And then after the paint dries I apply two more coats of varnish over the entire piece to seal everything and give it all the same level of shine.
Then it's on to mounting the canvas into the floating frame, applying the dust cover and hanging hardware.
Once that is done, turn it over and enjoy - Brick On The Go is ready to go!
I made matching greeting cards shown below. Along with Brick himself enjoying his portrait!