If you’re ready to create your own DIY painting, but not sure where to start, check out this super easy DIY wall art tutorial. I’ll even show you how to frame it!
I am constantly ogling dramatic black and white art but a stark, graphic painting just didn’t seem to fit anywhere in the townhouse . . . until we started working on the basement. That’s when I realized that I have the perfect spot: the stairwell! So I hauled out my art supplies and decided to make my own black and white abstract art that’s simple but bold.
I spotted a great black and white painting on Pinterest and that was definitely my inspiration. I didn’t achieve an exact replica (far from it), but it was a fun challenge to try to imitate someone else. It’s actually an assignment I have had to do for art classes and a great way to get those creative juices flowing. Usually when you try to copy someone else’s work, what you paint can go in a different direction and that’s perfect.
Here’s how you can make your own, easy black and white abstract art:
Ignore the bad lighting and mess – I was painting in the evening, in our super dreary basement that’s in the middle of an update.
Supplies for Easy DIY Wall Art Tutorial:
DIY Wall Art Tutorial:
I started with a blank white canvas. I had originally painted it a shade of cream for another (abandoned) project, so I painted over it with white. Because paint is so expensive I cheated and used primer. It actually worked really well. You can use a plain, gessoed canvas, fresh from the store, and skip this step, but I do like the look of brush strokes.
Step 1: I flipped the canvas upside down (to encourage paint to flow) and, with a giant paintbrush quickly dipped in water and some black acrylic paint, starting making broad brush strokes.
Steps: 2, 3 & 4. I flipped the canvas back around so I could shape the composition and I built up the paint in layers. I let little pops of white peek through but made other sections very inky.
Step 5: I flipped the canvas over again so I could paint the bottom. I wrapped the painting around the sides, too, which creates a neat effect. And it’s a great way to avoid deciding on a frame (although I have some tips on that).
And, voila! My simple but striking, DIY wall art! You could easily create this DIY art in other colours or by using gold leaf instead of paint. I hung it in the dining room to show it off, but it’s going in the stairwell soon enough. It fades in kind of a neat way against the white walls, but it will really pop against the greige walls. You can also see the black DIY frame we built for it – and its new location – by clicking here.
Want to Frame Your Own Art?
Want to make an easy and inexpensive frame for canvas art? Check out these tutorials:
Here’s a close up view of my new DIY wall art (in real life, there’s more texture and depth):
You should know, I suffer for my art. When I first picked up this canvas to get to work, I narrowly missed touching the giant centipede lurking inside. I threw down the canvas, phoned and harassed Hubby at work (looking for centipede squashing tips, I guess? It is officially his job), then took anther look and the centipede seemed to have vamoosed. Not entirely convinced, I poked at the canvas with a stick and out he popped. Why do they like to run toward me? Shudder.
If you’re new to Dans le Lakehouse, check out my DIY Projects Gallery for other DIY art ideas.
UPDATE: I have loved this piece of DIY wall art so much that, over the years, it’s moved spots – first in my budget-friendly bathroom makeover:
And then in my guesthouse bunkie:
This pretty black and white wall art – even though it’s so simple – has been such a keeper!
You're awesome. You're art's awesome. I hope you get lots of homie votes! xoxox
Awwww, thanks! You're pretty awesome yourself!
It turned out completely fantastic!!! I'm in exactly the same boat…love the B&W but I just can't think of a place in the house to put one! And you gave me the creeps with that centipede story…I can deal with a lot of creepy crawlers, but centipedes are *NOT* one of them! *shiver* Yuck.
Sorry for creeping you out! I'll be honest: I really wanted others to feel the trauma that was that poured into my painting, lol. I'm glad I'm not the only one totally horrified by centipedes. They do not live where I'm from, so they are a pretty new discovery. Blech.
Striking, indeed. Looks amazing, Tanya. I want one. 🙂
Ugh I hate centipedes!!! You are an artist and a warrior princess!
Sent a vote your way last night. We could use some Homie love over at midcenturymidwest.blogspot.com too 😉
Thank you muchly! I'm headed over to AT right now to vote for you.
Love how it turned out…you've done a great job! Very smart of you to turn the canvas up-side-down for natural stroke motions.
Ok, I didn't expect to like it. But I do. LOVE! I want one.
I love how you added the colourful pillow to the whole space to bring in the colour. I think it ups the stark, dramatic factor of the black and white. Beautiful!
Nice job Tanya. I have to admit, I am the resident bug-squasher & spider hunter around these parts (but I don't do snakes or rodents); it's not a job I relish, but I can't rely on my other half when he squeals like a girl over anything with multiple legs!Definitely jealous that you're able to find time to paint in your evenings, my easel has been particularly lonely these days.
No worries, my easel has been lonely too. I'm happy I found time to do this, but if you watch the clock move in my pics, it less than half an hour (minus the white, which took a few minutes another night).
It's great. I love it next to that pillow.
Awesome! It looks so good! And thanks for the tutorial. I may have to copy you. Imitation IS the highest form of flattery, right?
Thanks! I hope the person who made the painting I copied feels that way, lol.
Tanya, I'm just discovering you from AT's "The Homies" and just voted for your lovely blog!Our blog, Be. Love. Create, is nowhere near the big leagues, but we've got a few votes. =)
Thanks!! I stopped by your blog the other day (and voted for you). And I think your blog is lovely.
What a great painting. I love how organic it feels….very creative of you.
Tanya, your art looks fantastic! I actually thought the first picture was your inspiration, not your painting! Bravo and well done!!!
Love this! It does make a big impact!
It looks amazing! I'm going to try something similar one of these days!
Thanks for the comment…and the vote! Your blog is just great and I am heading over to vote. And following by linky!
Very nice… I love how it turned out!
AH-mazing!!!!! Great work Tanya!!
What a fantastic piece of art! I really love it. In fact, I like yours better!! Your photography gets me every time! Your lighting is perfect!
Thanks so much – that is a high compliment from an artistic gal like yourself! That's called "it's 7:00am & I'm madly trying to snap these photos before work" light.
This is so cool. It may be the first DIY art idea I've seen that I feel like I could actually attempt and succeed at. I'll let you know 🙂
I hope you do!! I can't wait to see what you do.
I'm so glad you stopped by D.I.Y. Louisville today! I have spent a good amount of time over here enjoying your blog. I love this artwork!
First off, I voted for your blog yesterday! Secondly, that painting is amazing! Great job 🙂
Thanks for your vote and for your kinds words!
Oh wow! This makes such a dramatic statement with such simplicity. I love it.
Oh, j'adore! Can you make me one? I would like mine to look as though it's been soaking in espresso from the bottom up. In return, I offer . . my undying affection? Oh, heck. You pretty much have that. [you have my vote;)]
Looks awesome! I recently bought a couple canvases to create some paintings for our house. Thanks for the your vote! You just got mine (no. 32)!
You have styled the painting very nicely, match made in heaven!
you made the canvas look so awesome…the painting has an Ikat look..and is so cool
That looks great! So simple, yet so striking. Love it!
Beautiful. I love the contrast of the bright, bold pillow in front of it.
I love it! I have a canvas with no purpose at the moment and this might be the perfect thing! Thanks for sharing.
Love this painting! Thanks for the tutorial- might have to try this out! Good luck with the Homies! You definitely deserve some credit- you have a great blog and you really do take beautiful photos. Well done!
You make it look so easy! But I know when (if) I attempt this, it'll look like a child's finger painting… haha :PI love your vignette, btw. 🙂
I love this Tanya! You make painting look so easy 🙂
Um yea….. this is really good. great job!
Love this painting! It's clean, simple, and stunning in your space!
This looks really great. I have 14 blank canvases hanging on my gallery wall at the moment… maybe I'll actually try to do a painting!
Beautiful, striking, so simple and so classy 🙂 I'm pinning your art! I wandered over from Hi Sugarplum's Pinterest Challenge. Hi!
Great project…this art is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing and linking up!
Tanya, this is so gorgeous. I'm intimidated by the painterly arts, but this might help me try it out!
oooooh this is gorgeous!! I want to do one! minus the centipede – UGH…one showed up in my BATHROOM the other day and I had a coniption fit, but it was 6:50am and I couldn't act fast enough and it slithered away!! I was scared for my whole shower. eww. but back to the pretty. I like your art. well done you!
Oh gosh, that is horrifying! I had one run at me one day when I was watching TV. I squashed it, but it lived and darted under the sofa. I moved the sofa and couldn't find it. I didn't watch TV for three days. I figured if he wanted the living room that bad, he could have it. Don't know what I'd do if one took over the bathroom . . .
Pinning it! I'm so happy Brooklyn Limestone featured this I think I *might* be able to actually do it and have it turn out nicely!Jessicastayathomeista.com
Hi Jessica! So glad you like it. I guarantee you can do this! If not, I promise to paint one for you 😉 That's the Dans le Townhouse guarantee.
This is gorgeous! Now I can't remember how I found your blog (via Centsational Girl maybe? Brooklyn Limestone?) but it was definitely the image of this painting that hooked me. I love it. And you make it seem so approachable. Could I really? Dare I? I've got the supplies on hand, so we'll see…Thanks for the inspiration!
Thanks so much for your comment! The project was featured on Brooklyn Limestone and I'm so happy you came over. Definitely try it!! I hope you share photos of your version :)Good luck!!!
What a great piece! How big is the canvas? Just trying to get a good judge of its size
The canvas is 30"x40" and we added a 1/2" frame. So it is a mid-size piece. It is pretty much the largest canvas that can fit comfortably into our hatchback, so that's the logic behind choosing this size ;)Hope that helps!
Great-looking project! Love it! (I hate those damn centipedes too — we have really gross furry-looking ones. One of the very few bugs that actually grosses me out. Had to kill one that got onto my ceiling once!)
Thanks!!Oh gosh, when they end up on the ceiling I am paranoid of one diving onto me. I know that's their plan.
Awesome piece! Do I see other colors in there?
Good eye! The tiniest bit of off-white and a smidge of teal. I am the WORST at cleaning my brushes and will often work on a few paintings at a time, forgetting to clean in between. I left it because it added a bit more depth in real life. A happy accident!
Where did you find such a fabulous pillow?
My Mom & I made it from fabric she bought years and years and years ago. In high school I had a skirt of the same print!
I'm so jealous! I've been having a difficult time finding fun, colorful pillows lately. I just stumbled upon your blog today because of craftgawker, I love it! You have such a neat style.
Thanks! I appreciate the compliment. Sorry I can't be more help with the fabric. I think my Mom has had it since the 70s!I've seen folks do awesome DIY pillows with thrifted clothes from the 60s and 70s. The patterns are just wild enough, and definitely won't look like everyone else's pillows. Silk scarves might be another neat option. Or try etsy for vintage fabric by the bolt.Good luck with your search!
I love this! I'm definitely going to try this out. I stumbled upon your blog and have taken a look around and you have a beautiful home!
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What a cool look. I would love one in navy & white! Thank you for sharing with us.
This is so striking, I just have to try it someday. Thanks a million for the inspiration!
Could you tell me where the side table is from? I LOVE it!
Hi Meredith, I'm so sorry to disappoint: the table is from a local flea market and, to boot, it looks to have been handmade because the wood was signed and dated on the bottom in a handmade-ish way. Can I brag and say it was only $20? HOWEVER, Brooke Batchelor Designs has some tables with a similar feel (but the added bonus of great hair pin legs): http://brookebatchelordesign.com/ Or you might want to try a local antique or thrift shop for something similar. The flea market seller had painted the legs matte black and refinished the top, so be open to something with room for a little DIY love. Good luck!! 🙂
Awesome! Will do. Thanks!! DIYing the painting this eve. Thanks for the ideas!
I'm so excited!! I'd be over the moon if you could send a photo (or link) when it's done?? Have fun!!
Love this! It's so simple to make a striking piece of canvas art, even for the non-painter. And fun, too 🙂
Really clean, simple. I do something similar using water and I call it "drip art." I'd be happy to share and you might think its cool.
I saw this on a linky party today. Did you know you were the inspiration behind One Ten Plus Two's paintings? I liked them a lot and was tickled to find she was inspired by you!Alyssamyclevernest.comhttp://www.onetenplustwo.com/diy-diptych-in-navy-orange-gold/
Hi Alyssa! Thanks so much for letting me know!! I did already know and had even featured her painting here awhile back, because I was pretty flattered she was inspired by my knock-off. But I really appreciate you letting me know 😀
Do you think it would look good with layers? For example, I would start with a light pink and cover most of it or all of it, then I go to darker shades of pink to red? Does that make sense?
Yes, that makes total sense!! And I love that idea – it would have a cool ombre feel. To keep the crispness, let the light pink layer dry, then apply some in a darker shade, let it dry and then do the red. This will ensure the rougher brush strokes. But you could also keep the paint a bit wetter so the colours bleed together a bit more and would look more "flowy" (not a technical term, lol). The nice thing about acrylic paint is that it is forgiving, so there's no need to worry about being committed – I've tweaked and re-done paintings until I've been happy with them. When you tackle your painting, I'd love to see photos of the finished piece (and feature it on DLT)!! Good luck and have fun :)P.S. Here's a reader's gold and navy & gold and red versions: http://dans-le-townhouse.blogspot.hu/2012/05/reader-projects-art-inspired-by-my-diy.html
hi am sherif i will like to work with you .am an artist and i know you will like my way of painting
Hello Sherif, your paintings are very striking. You're very talented!
WOW! What a striking painting! I am not really a painter at all, but i can't wait to try my hand at creating something like this!Janieohsweetjane.com
Thank you! I've had a number of readers try this and theirs have all turned out beautifully. It's so easy, I promise!
I used this idea for my own abstract art and absolutely loved the outcome! I actually spray painted the canvas I used gold first and then used leftover paint we had laying around (a chalky blue and black) to cover it up so that just a little bit peeks through where the two colors come together. I'm thrilled with the finished product and even my husband, who has absolutely no artistic sense, said he really likes it. I couldn't believe how easy it was to make and how great it looked. Thank you for the idea!
Your painting sounds gorgeous – I love that you added a gold background. That must look so glam!! I'm so, so happy that this idea was helpful to you. And a thumbs up from the hubby is worth its weight in gold!
Hello, I really love your painting and want to make one by myself too 🙂 I have a huge piece of Foam Board and thinking to use it instead of Canvas. Do you think it will work? And where I can find an Acrylic Paint? Thisis my first art project ever and I have no idea where to shop for craft items 🙂 Thanks! Richa.
Hi Richa! I'm so happy you like this painting. I'm not sure if foam board would work – the surface might be too slick for the paint to adhere, but I've never tried! I say grab some acrylic paint (I get mine at Michael's but any local art supply store has many brands to choose from) and try. If it doesn't work, priming the surface first might work. You'll have to let me know if it's a success.
Thanks for your help, Tanya! You're right, I did a little research too and found out about this primer named Gesso. It should work. I'll definitely let you know how my painting turned out 🙂 What type of Acrylic Paint and brush did you use? Sorry for asking so many questions 🙂
I use the middle priced brand wherever I go: not the beginner one, but not the pricey artist quality. Good brands are liquitex, galleria and golden. But for my basic colours, I like mid-range price. However, I'll buy super cheap white for mixing and sometimes I'll splurge on a pricier tube if I like the colour. I'm not good at mixing colours, lol. The folks at the paint shop will know more than me and let you know about which brands are best, in case they don't have what I've listed.
what type of brush/size do you use?
I am terrible about my supplies: I don't use appropriate materials. For this project I used a wide (maybe 3-4" brush) from the hardware store – not angled, just straight bristles. I do like a higher quality – something that won't shed bristles that will get stuck in the paint. I will sometimes buy artist's brushes when they're on sale, but even then I like a wider brush.
You know what? I assumed you painted a sound pattern of some sound that was meaningful to you, such as your name spoken out loud, or a piece of music! https://a.fsdn.com/con/app/proj/audacity/screenshots/73179.jpgI was surprised when it turned out you didn't, but I love it anyway. Just a note in case anyone wants to use this idea. Thanks so much for sharing. It looks great!
I don't know the first thing about sounds or music so that never dawned on me but that is an AWESOME idea!!!! Seriously, that's so clever and meaningful. I hope someone takes your suggestion!
Thanks! And regardless of whether it was a sound pattern, it still looks really neat!
Thank you 🙂
I am just seeing this and will copy it tomorrow….I never painted in my life….any tips on how to get it exactly as you have it? I only have two canvases…1 for practice and one which will hopefully turn out great.
Did you get a chance to tackle your painting? This one is really just simple brush strokes so it's a great project to start.
I did – the first one came out very nicely (the test) and I called it "House behind trees at night". This might sound very pretencious, but I like to give things a story. Since it looks as if there is a roof behind a tree line I gave it the following interpretation: The night (black color) represents negativity and the house represents the home, a place everyone is looking for. The trees are the hurdles in life. So if you have a negative view on things, you will never "arrive" and trees, which you can walk around, represent a dark big wall.The second picture, although very similar, looks like flames of a fire. I called it "Black Fire" as fire can be passion and give light, but again, if it is tainted, it will lead to nothing good.Thanks a million for your tutorial – I am not a painter at all, but you managed, for the first time in my life, to have fun painting.
I'm so happy to hear that your paintings turned out and that – most importantly – you had fun! I really like that your DIY pieces have meaning and inspired reflection – what wonderful things to think about when you look at your work. Thanks so much for sharing!
This wall art is beautiful! I am dying to recreate it for our kitchen. We are doing some kitchen cabinet refinishing this week, but this would totally finish off the space! Thank you so much for sharing!!!
Happy painting 🙂