Our family is a little unbalanced when it comes to pet to human ratio. Humans: 2 Pets: 3. But, we love them dearly and have to remind ourselves that we are not allowed any more pets! This of course excludes P’s fish tank because they seem to have a shorter life span. I was in a pet store recently admiring their pet picture frames. Really adorable wooden frames with distressed paint and paw prints all over them. What a great idea to frame pictures of your pets as they are part of the family, aren’t they? I knew I had a million cute photos and all I would need to do is print them and frame them, but as you know, I am very indecisive and some might say I am impatient. Following through with this would mean I would have to narrow down the selection of pictures and choose only 1 of each animal. THEN, I would have to choose frames and THEN I would have to find a great place to hang them…. so not happening. Instead I headed over to my Pinterest board where I have been collecting activities I would love to try and found a few that would work.
I decided to combine string art + silhouette art+ my lovely models to create one piece of art instead of multiple framed pieces. The end result?
Here’s how it all went down:
I gathered my supplies.
Board (I picked up a free piece of pine at Home Depot. It was an end piece that someone had already paid for and left behind making it free for me!)
Primer in White
Measuring tape (used to create stripes with painters tape)
Yarn (3 colors according my pet’s coats)
First, I spray painted my pine with white glossy spray paint and it turns out that Pine wood hates my spray paint.
So I turned to my faithful friend, Primer. A few coats later, I had a great base.
While those layers were drying, I found a few photos that would work for the silhouettes. I opened them in Photoshop and used the magic wand tool to create a silhouette. I’ll be honest, I have no idea how to work Photoshop, so I did a lot of googling (that’s a word, right? ) and took a few lessons from my husband. With his help I was able to create a few silhouettes that would work. I cut them out and set them aside until I was ready for them.
I decided to skip using paint over the primer as I already had a matte white that would work for the project. With the painters tape, I taped off stripes so I could have a color on the white pallet. White is great, but I have to remind myself that a little bit of color looks great in our space.
After I had taped off my board, I needed to create a grey paint. Since I have one black cat and a grey cat, I needed the grey to be light. I used the white primer as a base and added a bit of black acrylic to create a light grey.
Then I got busy painting the grey. It took 3 coats until I was happy with the results. For best results, do a light sanding in between coats. It’s not that hard. After the grey had dried, I removed the painters tape to see my work!
I liked what I saw so I decided to move forward. I then took my cutout animal silhouettes and taped them where I wanted them on my board. I began nailing around the silhouette outline, paying close attention to places that defined each pet. For instance, our grey cat has a lot of hair so I made sure to give her a puffy outline!
With the yarn, I tied one end around where I thought the animals tail might be and started wrapping it around the nails. I went around the outline 5 times to start, then filled in the center by stringing the art across the animal’s body. I tried to make it more dense where the feet and ears were.
I love this piece! It was actually fun stringing the yarn between nails – probably my love of french braiding kicking in. I think the stripes in the background were a great juxtaposition agains the crazy crossing motion of the yarn!
It should be know that I had originally began using thread and didn’t think it packed enough of a punch. Personally, I like how the chunkyness of the yarn resembles the actual coats of our pets.
We are so happy with our family portrait!