How to Ship a Giant Painting

I recently completed my largest painting to date, 6 feet wide by 4 feet tall. It was a commissioned piece for a customer in Florida (recall, I live in Ottawa, Ontario). It was actually a remake of one (this one) that I had done in the past. Here’s a quick overview of the progression of the (new) painting.

From start to finish
From start to finish

So how did I ship this beast?  We decided the best option to ship it was to take it off the stretchers and roll it up into a tube to ship. Not only is the painting better protected this way, but it is also much less expensive to ship. The client just has to have it re-stretched once he/she receives it (which most art stores will do).

Here are the step-by-step procedures:

1. Remove the Staples – Flip the painting over and remove all the staples holding the canvas to the stretcher bars. Be careful not to rip the canvas since it will need to be re-stretched once it arrives to the client. I used a flat-head screwdriver and pliers to get them out easily. There were probably 200 staples in this giant canvas. Not a small feat.

9b

 

2. Roll up the canvas – ensure the painting is facing to the outside. Keep it nice and loose to prevent the painting from cracking. Also make sure it is very dry before you do this since you don’t want it to stick and ruin the painting. 9c

 

3. Put it into a tube.  I used a 10 foot PVC pipe that I bought at the Home Depot and had it cut into a 6 foot and 4 foot section (that I discarded). I think the pipe cost about $30 and the cutting service was free. Typically, you could use cardboard tubes that are often used for posters, that you can buy at Staples or the like, but since this painting was so large that wasn’t an option. I wrapped the painting in paper wrapping paper first just in case the inside of the pipe was dirty (which it likely was).

10

 

4. Make end caps for the tube. To close off the tube, you will need end caps. I cut these out of cardboard and taped them on tightly on each end. I used painting tape, but I imagine electrical tape would be even better (I didn’t have any available). I also stuffed each end of the tube with paper towels to hold the canvas in place during transportation.

paint
Just me and the massive painting chilling in my backyard.

 

5. Label and Send. I wrapped a section of the pipe with paper wrapping paper so that I could write the shipping address there. Last step is to go ship this baby!

If you have any other tips and tricks for shipping large paintings, please let me know in the comments below. 

If you’re interested in a commissioned painting, find more information here

For All My Car Buffs

If you know my dad at all, you’ll know that he has two passions in his life: cars and ice cream. As far as painting goes, he’s never once asked me to paint him anything (my mom on the other hand…) until this past weekend.

Although I was secretly hoping it would involve the later of those two passions, it not-surprisingly involved cars. But how could I say no, after everything he does for me?! For example, he’s helped me move (ie. did 99% of the work involved) every single labor day long weekend for the past 6 years in a row, which usually first required driving up to Ottawa (8 hours away) to move my furniture basically across the street. Well friends, for the first time in my adult life, I am not moving during the labor day long weekend. It feels like the end of an era actually! So instead, I concluded that the least I can do is a painting for my dad, as a way to say thanks.

Dad with his very first painting from his favorite daughter <3
Dad with his very first painting from his favorite daughter <3

Now I know absolutely nothing about cars, and have very different taste in art than my dad, so this painting required precise instructions from him.

He asked for a painting similar to this “abstract/distorted” picture on the left, but using the car on the right:

collage

 

I thought this car was an Audi the whole time I was painting it…

I started with a gray background done with a palette knife
I started with a gray background done with a palette knife

But no, turns out this is an Aston Martin (which is NOT spelled Austin Martin, in case you were wondering…)

Then I added the abstract background, also with a palette knife
Then I added the abstract background, also with a palette knife
Next I added the car in an undistorted/abstract way
Next I added the car in an undistortedway

Had I been left to my own devices, I would have added a lot of detail to the car, and more colors to the abstract background and called it a day. However, my dad wanted the car to be all abstract too, so I basically took a palette knife and tried to “mess is up” and “stretch it out”. At one point I asked my dad for his input and he pointed out that the car is actually a very light metallic blue, and not white, which was music to my ears, since I love color and thought white is so boring the whole time I was painting this.

And the final reveal!

Aston Martin - 18x24" - Acrylic on Canvas
Aston Martin – 18×24″ – Acrylic on Canvas

Had my dad not asked for this, this isn’t something I would have ever painted on my own. I tend to paint more cute, lovey-dovey, pretty things. It was totally out of my comfort zone which made for an overall fun challenge.

Side View
Side View

 In case you wanted to know a little more about this car… It competes in the 24 hour Le Mans race.

Naturally, my dad owns a scaled model of this car
Naturally, my dad owns a scaled model of this car

And no, it has never won this race.

And here's a zoomed in view.
And here’s a zoomed in view.

However, according to my pops, it is the best looking car.

Aston Martin - 18x24" - Acrylic on Canvas
Aston Martin – 18×24″ – Acrylic on Canvas

And we’re all about external appearances here (apparently) haha

Since this was yet another commissioned painting, it is not for sale, however prints are available here

Prefer original art? My original paintings for sale are listed here

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