If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you’ll now how much I love Gossip Girl. If you watched the show, then you’ll also know that in her apartment on the Upper East Side, It-Girl in chief Serena Van Der Woodsen has this stunning Prada Marfa canvas. After doing some snooping, I found the piece for sale by the artist, Elmgreen and Dragset, on Art.com for $430. Take a sec to imagine how much makeup $430 can buy. So, after doing a bit of searching on some décor blogs, I figured I could make my own for under $50.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Canvas (I used a 30 x 40 like the original, but you can use whatever size you want)
Black Acrylic Paint
Paintbrush (If you’re buying a brush, I found the Filbert brush to work the best.)
Black Permanent Marker
Photo Editing Software (Adobe Reader and Photoshop)
I first found a photo of the artwork online here and copied and pasted it into a photoshop file, which should have the same dimensions as your canvas. After cutting the sides down and stretching it to fit the background, I saved the file as a PDF file. Next, I opened the file using Adobe Reader to print it to scale. This took some trial and error, but I found that if you set the dimensions to the size of your canvas and set the print setting to “Tile” for a large poster, the lettering is spaced out over around 7 pages to scale.
After cutting those with an exact-o knife, I spaced them out and taped them onto the canvas, making sure they were leveled correctly with a ruler. Next, I traced the letters and numbers onto the canvas lightly. I can’t stress this enough; paint is much easier to erase than pencil on blank canvas.
After that, all that was left was to fill them in with black acrylic paint. Because it’s water-based, it helps to wet your brush and wet the paint a bit before you start to thin it out; start with thin layers of paint and then build them up until it looks jet-black. If you make any mistakes, just grab a paper towel, wet it, and rub away any stray paint marks carefully. It helps to wrap the wet paper towel around your index finger and almost “scratch” away the paint lightly. After all that is done, wait for it to dry and you’re done! Serena’s chic Prada sign, simples.