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Hand-Painted Photo Wall Hanging

Transform journal pages and photos into hand-painted photo wall art.

As a journalism major in college, Judith Monroe, of Sacramento, Calif., needed an easy credit. Photography seemed the obvious choice. It turned out to be much more than an entertaining elective, "It was pure magic." Photography soon became her passion. Now this fun-loving wife and mother spends her spare time transforming journal pages and photos into hand-painted works of art.

Materials and Tools:

ink pen
Polaroid 665 film (positive/negative black and white)
photo mounting corners
8.5" x 11" transparency film
16" x 20" fiber base black and white photographic paper (and traditional black and white darkroom chemistry)
Peerless transparent watercolors
20" x 24" white matte (window cut to size) and backing board
linen tape
small strips of archival paper
20" x 24" wood frame and glass
2 'D' rings and wire for hanging


1. Take a photograph with Polaroid 665 film, coat the positive (print) per instructions, fold the negative tab over and store in a plastic baggie, saving for later.

2. Make notes in a journal such as time, date, weather, observations, stray thoughts, sketches, etc. Place the photograph print into the journal with photo corners.

3. Wash the negatives with tap water and hang to dry.

Figure B

4. Make transparency copies of the journal pages with a scanner and printer or a copy machine. Tear the edges of the transparencies to avoid hard lines on the final image.

Figure C

5. Print negatives onto 16" x 20" fiber-based photographic paper in a traditional darkroom; overlay the transparencies directly on photo paper to create desired composition. Wash thoroughly and allow to dry.

6. Hand-paint directly on the photograph with watercolors. After watercolors dry, use colored pencils to detail as desired.

Figure E

7. Hinge the matte to the backing board with linen tape and mount the photograph on the backing board with archival photo corners. Using framers points, secure glass and matted photo in the frame. Attach "D" rings to back of the frame, string wire across the back and hang on the wall.

Display your hand-painted photo wall hanging.


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