Ketubah painting commission

This one was completed in the end of last year. I am not Jewish, so when I was approached with a request to create a ketubah painting, I admit, at first I wasn’t sure exactly what it could be. An exotic fruit? Or maybe a funny-looking hat? Turns out, it is a traditional Jewish marriage contract! The artwork that goes with Ketubah can be anything that has meaning to the couple, and I was asked to create a modern version of one. So, I painted a scene with the lake and lighthouse (located here on Chicago’s north side), and the contract text was added in using a new to me technique – a gel medium transfer. Gel medium transfer consists of printing the text (backwards) on a laser printer, and “gluing” that printed paper to the artwork by using an acrylic matte medium. After everything dries (I left it to dry overnight), paper is carefully rubbed off with a wet sponge. What remains is the black ink, adhered to gel, which is adhered to your art panel. I had to practice this several times before attempting on the actual painting. Result was a success! Printed text transferred quite well with a little bit of that worn, “aged” look – just what the couple requested. Here are several stages of the painting along with a final result:

Ketubah painting process


In the end, I changed the border from orange to blue, to make it a little calmer. (Names have been blurred out for customer privacy)

Modern ketubah painting

When ceremony time approached, the bride and groom signed their names on lines I drew below the text. Very fun, unique project and I got to experiment with something new! (…Oh, and then I added my little artist signature to the other side of the painting, but was assured by the couple that I would not be entering into their contract my signing my own artwork. Because that would be a little awkward …..)

Ketubah painting by Anastasia Mak

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