DIY Mod Cardinal Wall Art

Making attractive wall art can be fun when you combine simple techniques with the right tools. In this DIY tutorial, Lori Craig demonstrates how to use a graphite transfer paper to apply simple coloring sheets onto a canvas, then texture and color it with the Tommy Art DIY Paint System.

header mod cardinal.jpg

If you’ve ever wanted to transform coloring sheets that you’ve found on the internet into custom wall art for any season, then try the techniques in this tutorial. This DIY project is also easy enough to keep the kids busy. You’ll love the end result, especially if you use the texture and shine of Tommy ART on canvas.

supplies for the transfer paper wall art

Imagination International Supplies

  • Paintbrush

  • Pearl Metallic Mineral Color - Tommy ART

  • Brown Black Mineral Color - Tommy ART

  • Ruby Mineral Color - Tommy ART

  • Pale Blue Mineral Color - Tommy ART

  • Avocado Mineral Color - Tommy ART

  • Mask It Sheets - X-Press It

  • Transfer Paper (graphite) - X-Press It

The image quality of the original lineart here was small, but not a problem. We just wanted to use the basic outlines of the cardinal and leaves. We didn’t need precision. Print the image on copy paper close to the same size as your canvas. You may need to piece larger images together from multiple printed sheets.

Additional Supplies:

  • Canvas

  • Paintbrush

  • Pallet knife

  • Line art - we found ours as a free coloring page on the internet

Cardinal line art used in this project.

Cardinal line art used in this project.

transfer paper process mod cardinal

Step 1: Using the transfer paper

With X-Press It transfer paper graphite side on the canvas, position your image over the top of the transfer paper on the canvas. Secure with repositionable tape. (X-Press It Glitter Deco Tape used here) Trace over guidelines for painting. Notice I added some berries and twigs (which were later omitted from final design) to the sketch.

transfer paper process mod cardinal.jpg

Lift printed image and transfer paper away to reveal image on canvas.

IMG_7446 mod cardinal.jpg

Step 2: Painting

Using a smaller detail brush, I painted my cardinal, leaves and berries.


Step 3: Masking

While paint was drying, I created simple masks for the bird and leaves with Mask It. Mask It is great for fine details, but as you can see from my somewhat sloppy tracing job, I wasn’t too worried with precision.

IMG_7451 mod cardinal.jpg

Cut masked pieces and place over painted and dried images on the canvas. Rub finger around edges to “seal”.

Metallic layer on Cardinal Wall Art

Step 4: Layer of Metallic

Using a palette knife, spread Pearl Metallic Mineral Color over the entire canvas. Rather than masking the berries, I opted to paint over them here and re-paint the pale blue at the end.

Metallic texture on cardinal wall art

I chose the Pearl Metallic for it’s thick and rich consistency. It’s like working with the quality of a dimensional gesso and rich metallic pigment at the same time! I love that.

peeling away the mask on canvas wall art

Step 5: Peeling away the mask

When the Pearl Metallic has dried, use palette knife to gently peel masks from canvas. Notice how the Pearl Metallic holds the texture even when dry? I love that!

DIY Paint System Cardinal Wall Art

Step 6: Final touches

When the Pearl Metallic has dried, use palette knife to gently peel masks from canvas. Notice how the Pearl Metallic holds the texture even when dry? I love that!

Cardinals always remind me of my grandmother, and I specifically kept this one free of any Christmas imagery or wording so I can leave it out through the depth of winter.  

I hope this tutorial inspires you to make your own custom wall art!

DIY Cardinal Wall Art using Tommy Art