Sunday, February 27, 2011

DIY Abstract Painting

Back again today to show you all a painting I spent most of the day making! A little backstory... painting was my favorite hobby as a child/teenager... but I've just been so busy with "life" since college that I haven't picked up a paintbrush in years (other than to paint the house with). So as I was deciding on what to put above the TV, I thought it might be fun to try my hand at a large painting. I chose abstract, because I figured you really can't go wrong. Plus I wanted something basic and subtle, in ocean blue hues. I had an idea of what I wanted, but nothing I was trying to replicate exactly.

I found this painting online and it was probably the closest thing to what I was picturing in my head:




So I went off to Michael's to purchase some supplies. They were having an incredible sale on art supplies—40% off canvases, plus I had an additional 20% off coupon, plus 40% off paints and brushes. Score!

The type of painting I wanted to do really works best with oil paints, but I didn't want to deal with all the turpenoid and messy cleanup. Plus I didn't want to wait a day to be able to hang it up, so I kept things simple and went with acrylic.

I ended up finding four 18x24" canvases that I would arrange into a square. I also picked up plenty of white, blue and yellow (as you can make virtually any shade of turquoise with those colors). I also grabbed a nice brush, a palette, and some gel retarder to extend the drying time of the paint.

With the sale price and coupons, I paid under $7 for each canvas, and all the paints/accessories were only around $35. That makes this project only $60, not bad!

Here was my arsenal of goodies:



Since it was such a gorgeous day outside (84 degrees!) I set up my workstation outside by the pool.



I added generous amounts of paint to my palette..



...and mixed some retarder into each color (which was especially helpful since I was working outside in the sun).




I really had no plan in mind when I started to paint. I figured I'd just make the brush strokes and let whatever happens happen.

Here's a little action shot:


First quarter completed...


Fast forward maybe 45 mins later and the canvas was full:



I went back and made a few tweaks, smoothed some things out, and ended up with my first finished canvas:



This first one took a good hour, at least. By #2 I was getting the hang of it and cut the time down significantly. Here's how the second one turned out:




And the third...


And finally, #4:


Whew! All in all, it was probably about four hours from start to finish. I had plenty of paint leftover (I was worried I'd use it up at first), so now I'm all set if another painting project comes up.

Oh, and we had a visitor stop by to sunbathe by our pool:

His name is now Harry the Heron.

I fed Harry some ham.



And then he went and found my stick stash (where I find all the cool sticks to decorate with)...



Apparently he has a stick fetish like I do! I can only assume he took it back to his place to decorate his mantle or use it as a centerpiece. They are some sweet sticks, afterall. Harry, if you're reading this, you are more than welcome to come back for more.

Anyway, back to the paintings...

Here's the official before shot:



And here they are, doin their thing, injecting some life into the room:





Yay for color! Our house is getting more colorful by the day. I promise I won't go overboard though... I'm stickin with the palette.

Hopefully this can serve as inspiration/motivation for you guys to get out there and make your own painting! The worst that can happen is you paint your canvas white and start over. No biggie. I would recommend an abstract like this if you're just starting out, and stick with acrylics. It's easy and fun, sometimes even therapeutic (and cheap if you shop during sales!)

Off to watch the Oscars... have a great Sunday night everyone!


6 comments:

  1. Looking great. I'm glad I just stumbled on the blog!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very cute! They really look great against the wall colour!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm trying tonight<3 ~denise~

    ReplyDelete
  4. not really diggin it...i think it's the shade of blue vs the wall paint. Just looks like it doesn't belong there

    ReplyDelete
  5. i think these would be fabulous with some more texure and pop maybe lining one color in the same color yarn im inspired!! lol

    ReplyDelete