From photo to painting, the cheater’s way

If you have a projector – something that is becoming more common these days, perhaps even on your phone – then you can convert a photo into a painting in an evening. Here is a run-down of what I did to make my dad’s secret Santa present this year:

I chose a photo I thought my dad would like: it’s a shot taken this past summer of him rowing me and Jax during our stay in Door County.

Dad rowing in Door CountyI then emailed the photo to Seth so that he could open the attachment and view the photo on the projector phone. I set up a canvas and lined up the projector’s beam so that what hit the canvas was how I wanted the final image to appear.

Projecting PhotoThen I traced the main shapes. It helps to squint to see the contrast and shapes. It’s not just about objects, but the color variations in the water and trees, too.


IMG_0386Using this pencil sketch as a guide, I colored in the image with oil pastels, using the original photo as a reference point.

Oil PastelsI used a lot of blue.

IMG_0387This is what it looked like after just an hour. Voila!






Blog changes

Hello, old friend!

I’ve finally made some long-overdue changes to the blog: I first started CraftyRachel after quickly coming up with a descriptive title for what I was up to: crafting of various kinds (including stuff for our wedding, and then a baby, and then a dissertation…) But I had always hoped to come up with something a tad less literal. Putting together a bunch of stuff to sell at a friend’s craft show last month finally gave me a deadline and an incentive to make a change and sort of re-brand myself. After a lot of brainstorming, one image kept returning: a color wheel. It’s bright and bold and unending and varying and unified and full of possibility. Since “colorwheel” was not available, I went with the French (roue de couleur), which was. Both the and sites take you to the same root site,

Oil Pastels

I have ornaments and menorahs and kites to talk about. And of course news from the little boys in my life, Jax and Ben. I hope you’ll stay tuned.

~ Rachel