Handpainted photo backdrop DIY

I wanted to make my own handpainted canvas photo backdrop. There is a number of different instructions over the net how make one. For example on Sue Bryce site, or here and here. I considered different aproaches: raw achrilic paint or achrilic paint with medium to make final backdrop soft. But in the end I used canvas dye, which should color canvas without making it hard after drying. This make storing much easier, specially in small studios like my home. 

I bought canvas fabric 1.8mx2m of gray color and also two 250ml botles of black dye and one 100ml botle of white dye to make different shades of grey. 

Canvas dye

After the canvas was rinsed and the floor was covered with plastic I started to paint with black color using sponge. I mixed the paint with about 10%  of water to make the paint a bit less thick and made short strokes after which I spread the paint a bit more evenly.

Painting photo backdrop

When the whole canvas was covered with blacked I dicided to fill the empty parts with dark grey color. That is why I mixed black and white to make the desired color but this time added more water to make the paint almost floating. 

Photo backdrop color

And after everything was done 

Photo backdrop

I dicided to blur the colors with... rensing the backdrop in a washing machine one more time. I hoped that the color will not be washed away totally, and in the end it was like this, but too much for my taste - looked too much like overwashed jeanes. 

Photo backdrop washed

So there I was - back to start, spreading black color with water, but this time more, almost 50/50. I brushed the canvas with black again and then once gain mixed dark grey color to fill the empty spaces.

Photo backdrop DIY


I hanged the backtrop on stands to dry. And this was a revealing moment as the colors change after drying. Here how the first dried version looked like.

Photo backdrop painting 

Some missed parts, some wrong color spreading. So I fixed it with dark grey color while it was hanging on stands, waited until it dried and fixed again until I run out of paint, then I had to use pure water to softer stroke edges. And here is the final result of my own photo backdrop in off focus as it should be: 

Photo backdrop DIY

Bottom line. First point: have not I rensed the backdrop after the first dye 250ml of black color would be enough. The second point: after dyeing the backdrop should dry to see the real colors. 

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