Monday, September 5, 2011

DIY Abstract Art

Happy Labor Day!  Sorry for my absence, I've had a lot going on in the "real world" this last week.  But I did manage to find the time to wander into Michael's and boy, doesn't that always get you in trouble?  I went in for some silver leaf (which I didn't even end up buying) and left with three canvases and a bunch of Martha Stewart's new craft paint (which was totally 40% off!) and went home and came up with this...

I've been dragging my feet on creating my own piece of abstract art, thinking it wouldn't turn out "good enough," but I had a ton of fun making it and I looooove the way it turned out!
  So if you're like me and have been having your doubts, just get to the craft store, spend twenty bucks, and do it already!

Here's what you'll need:
Canvas (mine was 11" x 13")
Acrylic Paint in colors of your choice (I used about a dozen different colors)
Cling Wrap
Two Glasses of Tap Water
Spray Bottle of Water

Um... ignore the shoe in the upper right corner.  Not really sure how that got there.

To start, I gave the entire canvas a base coat of a pale blue paint (I used some interior latex paint I had sitting around), then used a light teal to add a central "form":
 The base coat was still wet and I kept my paint brush pretty saturated with water so things would get nice and blend-y.
Then I added some thick teal, green, and yellow brush strokes.  
I'd originally intended on trying to achieve something similar to Michelle Armas' style, but let's face it: no one does it like she does.  And all those brush strokes just looked kind of stupid, so then I busted out the Glad Wrap and water bottle.

I lightly (lightly, I tell you!) misted my canvas with water, then started blending with a clean brush dipped in water, but decided that wasn't going fast enough, so I wadded up a ball of cling wrap and started blending all caveman-style.  You need one cup of water to clean the brushes, and one cup of clean water to do things like blend and make paint drip and stuff.
How sexy is that!?
I added some "spots" of Mother of Pearl and didn't get them blended fast enough, but the end effect turned out okay (no pic of this step).  Then for some orange (more misting and brush blending).

The next step I didn't manage to get a pic of, but was pretty easy.  I mixed a radish-y color with a little bright pink and painted a line across the middle of the canvas.  I then took a clean brush dipped in clean water and "flooded" the line (basically just add water to the color) and got a couple sweet drips.  There was one really long drip at the end of the line.  I just tilted the canvas this way and that and blew gently until I got the shape I wanted.  Then I wadded up a new ball of cling wrap and dabbed it gently.
I blended some purple into the upper right hand corner right before I painted the red line.

Something didn't look quite right, so I turned it upside down and voila!
 The red splotches were created by lightly dabbing the cling wrap into the paint and lightly blotting it directly onto the canvas.

It's no priceless piece of art, but it makes me happy every time I look at it.  I took it to live on my dresser, it's going to provide the perfect jumping-off point to bring more color into the room.

 I love the way the light plays off the Mother of Pearl paint at different angles.  And yes, the tip of that elephant's nose is no longer with us.  I've had him since I was six, so he's been through a lot.  Poor guy.

While I was at it, I also painted this little guy.  Hey, if you can't beat the ugly faux-asian dresser, embrace it with cute faux-asian art.  And then paint said dresser white.  Which will happen so very, very soon.

 Go read this book.  It's ten kinds of gory, creepy awesome.

So there you have it, friends!  Abstract Art is NOT intimidating, and is actually pretty therapeutic to make.  So go make something that makes you smile this week.

Linking up over here:


Tiffany said...

i really like this. been struggling with my own abstract. excellent inspiration.

Casey @ Semi-Grownup Life said...

Thank you! It was so much fun to just sit down with nothing in particular in mind and just see what resulted.

Latoya @ The Scott's Crib said...

I really like this...good job:)