What seems like ages ago, I painted three abstracts for our bedroom that have seemed a bit ho-hum since I added brighter touches to the room, like the cheery Marimekko blanket. Readers have asked how I made the paintings but, since I was actually trying to recreate this painting, it was a crazy, un-documentable journey from blank canvases to finished pieces. Anyone curious about the how-to is in luck though, because I recently tweaked the triptych (by adding new pops of colour to the two blander paintings) and I captured the transformation in photos, so you can get a sense of how to make your own DIY abstract art (it’s easy, I promise).
To make a simple abstract like this, the key is in layering colours:
This is the same method I used originally: with acrylic paints I painted some random, colourful squares in different colours and then, once they had dried a touch, so as not to smear the paint around, I painted over them in white. Then I layered in some pastel shades to soften the look. The result is an abstract with colour peaking through shades of white.
I worked and I fiddled. I did the old step back, paintbrush between my teeth and my head cocked to one side, with a really pompous expression. The kind that requires a black beret. I also covered myself in paint in the process. I continued fussing until I liked the finish product. The same process unfolded with another of the three paintings:
The trick is to apply the paint thinly, with a large, very dry brush. This way the paint won’t drip and will dry quickly so the paint can be layered easily. I used artist’s acrylic (not craft paint) because the colours are more saturated and the quality is better. I don’t buy the most expensive kind, though. I buy whatever is between kid’s acrylic paint and professional grade (I switch brands and stores).
I worked around the canvas, instead of concentrating on one area at a time. Here are a few detailed photos of some deliciously layered colour:
Here is the “before” and “after” of all three paintings together:
I like the brighter, more colourful paintings better. They suit the room better.
|The middle canvas remained untouched|
The paintings are a cheery scene to wake up to each morning, as I begrudgingly
haul my butt outta my warm, toasty bed and face the cold, snowy world.