New House to Home: DIY Abstract Art            

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

DIY Abstract Art

In my last post I mentioned that my laundry room is finished and I am ready to start adding punches of my personality.  Well, today I did.  I added a one of a kind piece of abstract art painted by yours truly.  It was a fairly inexpensive project, since I already had primer, paint, brushes, and a canvas on hand.  My only expense was a few extra bottles of craft store acrylic paint.  It was a quick, easy, fun project that makes a big difference in a small space.  Here's the finished product.

Now, let's look at how I started.  First, I grabbed this canvas that I painted at a local place called Cheers to Art.  At Cheers to Art, you can get together with your best girlfriends, enjoy a little wine and some snacks, and learn to paint a predetermined picture.  Can you tell that my group learned to paint tulips (probably not, looking at this picture)?

Some of the other girls created masterpieces that I would have been proud to hang in my home, but my painting just wasn't doing it for me.  So, once I determined that I cannot paint things, I decided to use the canvas to try my hand at abstract art. I gathered my canvas and supplies.
 Primer to cover the old painting (you may not need this if you are starting with a blank canvas).
Disposable foam brush if you are applying primer.
Large brush for applying base layer of paint.
Smaller brush for applying top layer of paint.
Various colors of acrylic paint and metallic gold acrylic paint.

The first thing I did was prime the canvas.  After that, the canvas was ready for the base layer of paint.  I had my daughter paint the entire canvas brown so that when the other colors were applied, a subtle hint of brown would peek through.  Here is how it looked at that stage.
Don't worry, the wine does not belong to my daughter.  She had lost interest by this point in time.

Next, I put a large dollop of each of my colors on my "pallet."  I even allowed some of them to blend together to create new complimentary colors. 

When it was time to actually paint the canvas, I loaded my brush with my first paint color and applied it to the top left third of the canvas.  I tried to keep the majority of the paint in the center of the application area, while feathering a smaller amount out to both the left and the right.  The feathering technique adds interest by allowing the base color to show through.  I then loaded my brush with my next paint color and then applied the same technique to the top center of the canvas.  It is important to work quickly so that your current paint color blends with the previous paint color.  I did not wash the brush after each paint color - I feel that the leftover paint creates interesting color variations . I continued the same procedure until the entire canvas was covered. 

After the painted canvas was dry, I used a dry brush technique to add a few metallic gold highlights to the painting.  I just loaded a small, stiff brush with the gold metallic paint, and then wiped almost all of it off before lightly brushing it across the canvas.

I don't claim to be an artist, but I really like the way this turned out.  It must not be too terrible - my toughest critics (my kids) actually said it was cool.  It was an inexpensive way to add a bit of personality to what would otherwise be a very utilitarian space. 

Have you ever tried a DIY art project?  What did you learn?  I would love to know your tips and tricks for creating your own original art.

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  1. Hi Cheryl -
    I found you on Hi Sugarplum's link party. We think alike. I did some cheap art like this as well for my project, but I did make flowers and there not as good as your tulips. I'll be posting to the to the party tonight.I also put in mu updated laundry room. I love your abstract!

    1. Thanks, Renee! I can't wait to see your laundry room since I'm in the middle of that as well. Great minds think alike!

  2. hello-that looks fabulous! you should be super proud, b/c people would pay for that!

    1. lol! I don't know about that, but I appreciate the compliment. Thanks for looking!

  3. This looks great! It compliments the color of your wall. And what a way to make something that looks expensive and not spend a fortune! Kudos! -Patrick Tan