You might have guessed, I really enjoy painting. One day, in high school art class – which I cannot believe was 10 years ago – I was working with such vim and vigor on a painting (the black tree in the office, actually) that in addition to getting paint in my hair, on my glasses, on my school uniform and up my nose, I totally demolished the delicate watercolour of the girl next to me with my crazy over spray of paint. I thought “good artists” painted with “flair” (which to 18 year old me meant flailing arms). After the “incident” I was sent to paint alone in a small, windowless supply room, where I splashed around and got 98% for my final mark (high marks for enthusiasm, plus Handy Hubby – who was Buildy Boyfriend then – made custom stretchers and frames for all of my work).
I highly recommend painting as stress relief and a creative outlet, but a lot of readers have expressed some hesitation about getting started. I think once you get started, you’ll quickly and easily develop your own style and compose a beautiful abstract without even thinking about it!
To get you started, here’s a look at how a recent painting I made involved. Hopefully these step by step photos will inspire you to pick up a brush!
How to make an abstract painting:
To achieve a loose, drippy look, I started with a dry brush and acrylic paint and then used a plant mister filled with water to spray the paint after I applied it to the canvas. It gave me more control than a wet brush and kept things looking kind of light and watery.
Then I just kept working at it, applying paint where I saw fit. (And trying not to douse the whole room in paint.) Here are a few full size photos from the progress collage:
As a last step, I added some black and white paint in sharper lines to contrast the softness.
It was an experiment and – most important – a ton of fun!
Don’t worry if you don’t like your result – it is easy to paint over acrylic paint. Remember how I tweaked the bedroom triptych and then totally fell in love with version 2? I also reworked this geographic painting (details soon).
If you’re really worried about creating something worthy of your walls, here’s my tip: I think even the simplest painting looks good in a large scale, like the giant drippy piece on the left:
|The Apartment Via|
|The Apartment Via|
Try a DIY painting – you won’t be disappointed!