Let’s give an art makeover for an old painting! The idea for this blog post came last month when I was running out of paper. Instead of traveling to an art supply store, I stayed home as was advised, and found another solution: reusing old paintings!
My starting point was practical, but the benefits were spiritual – the journey that had ended, started again. I picked pieces that were made about 30 years ago – when I was in my 20s. At that time, I studied software engineering but still felt partly an artist.
Makeover Tip #1 – Change the Subject
The paintings from the 1990s look very different from my current work, but after examining old paint strokes, I did recognize myself. Although the strokes were rougher and the shapes simpler, they were still very much the same. The subject has changed, but my love for playing with shapes never went away.
Makeover Tip #2 – Save Something Old
When revamping the painting, I like to save something from the original one. So here, I kept a part of the yellow curtain but altered its color with a thin layer of paint so that it fits with the new color scheme. Old curtain, new home.
Makeover Tip #3 – Change the Colors
The old painting has screaming colors, but I wanted something more sophisticated for the revamped version, called “Ceruleana.” As the name suggests, the new painting is a tribute to Cerulean Blue.
Cerulean Blue is an expensive but lovely color, especially when mixed with white. It makes every engineer a romantic and looks heavenly with ochre and yellow tones.
But this post is not only about blues and its hues, I have another example too! This one has a lot of Magenta (“Medium Magenta” of Golden Acrylics), and the colors are very different from the original muddy version.
Art Makeover Tip #4 – Change the Orientation
The original was an artistic self-portrait like the first one. I did those a lot back then, and in every picture, I tried to look a bit different. But my imagination never got this far! The revamped version is horizontal but here they are side by side so that you can compare.
I like how the original version is still present in the new one!
Makeover Tip #5 – Use the Old Painting as a Foundation
This magenta abstract was so much fun to make. The old painting was like a map that had roads and towns, and when trusting them to lead me to one place to another, I didn’t have to worry about composition or such. I picked the easy abstract painting style from my class Planet Color. The whole process was relaxing, and the painting is called “Cosytopia.” A place to escape the big bad world.
Extreme Art Makeover – Polish and Varnish!
Like in any makeover, why not do it to the very end! Take care that the brushstrokes are smooth where they need to be, and shapes stylish enough for a party.
If the painting has a sturdy background, varnish it too! Ceruleana was painted on a cardboard canvas, so I used a polymer varnish on it. Before the varnish, I added a layer of glossy gel medium. (A detailed post about varnishing)
Glossy varnish makes colors glow beautifully. Even if this is an old revamped acrylic painting on cardboard, it may happen that someone someday says: “Oo-oh, it’s an oil painting, isn’t it?”
I hope this post inspired you to make the most of your supplies and past artistic endeavors!