The kids like to play in my studio downstairs because that is where I stash all the toys that have started to get on my nerves. Toys with lots of pieces (like the kitchenette), toys that take up too much room (like the Little People airport), and toys that just make annoying noises that I can’t stand for more than fifteen minutes (like the Little People airport).

The great thing about keeping toys down there is that the boys will be distracted for long enough to do a simple painting like this one. The collage/silhouette technique is so fast, I can make a painting in two 30 minute visits to the basement.

Because these paintings are so easy, I thought, why not create my own holiday decorations on canvas? They are certainly more unique and interesting than anything I could buy at the store, and cost me nothing but an hour of my time since I have a nice little stash of cheap canvas in the back room. (I always buy my canvas on sale. Keep your eyes open for those BOGO sales, especially.)

If you would like to make something similar, here is what you will need:

-Canvas, any size (this is an 8″x10″)
-Paper – I used wrapping paper, tissue paper, and magazine and book pages
-Modge Podge, or similar
-A pencil
-Acrylic paint for negative space

Step 1: Collage paper onto canvas with Modge Podge. Think about your color palette so your subject will make sense. I’m using mostly orange here because I knew I’d be making a jack-o-lantern. Let dry.

Step 2: Sketch out your image onto the canvas. You may want to do preliminary sketches on paper. If you’re not much of an artist and don’t want to draw your own image, you can use a stencil or find an image you like online and trace it.

Step 3: Paint over the negative spaces with your solid color acrylic paint. I used black here to cover over the background and paint in the eyes, nose and mouth of my jack-o-lantern. You can also add in little details like highlights with additional paint, but it’s not necessary. I made my stem green and added a little curly vine. I also painted the edges of the canvas green.

Done! See, that was pretty easy, right? And you may have so much fun making your own painting, you won’t even notice how annoying those toys are!

For more information and photos on how to make this kind of painting, check out my Elephant Collage post.