I think that one of the most important decor elements in a space is artwork. Most of my design decisions are shaped by my art collection; I often pull colour palettes and inspiration from my favorite pieces. My home boasts a great mix of art made by family members (we’ve got some professional artists among us – lucky me!), inexpensive travel finds, and DIY projects. Given my penchant for DIY and thrifty finds, I’m certainly not an art snob. I think that you can find, or make, great art for any budget and I’ve framed everything from agate slices to a huge Hungarian embroidery – and you’ve already seen the Soviet-era posters I framed in my bedroom.
As much as I love those posters, they are such a departure from the soft, swirling abstracts that brighten many of my walls. To help create a little cohesion between the rooms in my house – and to add more art, because why not? – I created a pair of abstracts to flank the DIY headboard in my master bedroom.
I love how they turned out and, let me tell you, painting these was a fabulously relaxing way to spend a rainy afternoon! I love how they not only pull colour from the poster art, but also from other rooms in the house, helping to create that cohesion I’m craving.
- Stretched canvas (or two)
- Acrylic paints in your choice of colours
- Mason jar filled with water to clean brushes
- A few brushes in various sizes (try craft/art supply stores or even the dollar store)
- Paper towel (to dry brushes or wipe up any spills)
I tried to capture the progression of these easy paintings in photos, but I promise you it was really easy – you could do this with your eyes closed (hey – that might actually be fun!). I started with blank canvas (found at any art supply or craft store) and built a base of brighter colours, brushed on with casual, vertical strokes. Then I layered in lighter shades and lots of white – blending in some areas, but letting the darker colours peek through in others. I moved around my canvas as I worked, stopping every now and then and taking a step back, seeing what it looked like from a distance, and making adjustments here and there. Finally, I went back and added small, thin brush strokes of saturated colour on top. This seems counter productive, but I wanted these paintings to have interesting depth and layers. If you work with acrylic paints, like I do, you’ll find that you can paint over areas quite quickly.
Here’s how it developed:
I wanted the finished pieces to be subtle and to read like a pattern or textile to complement my vintage fashion posters – and I think I succeeded! The narrow size is perfect on either side of the bed.
I think that I might want to build float frames for these paintings – like I did for this other painting in my home – but for now I’ll see if I like them unframed. Another option is to paint the edges a contrasting colour (black would be perfect), to create the illusion of a frame.
Thank you for reading! Would you try this simple abstract DIY?