DIY ART: 5 tips to create you’re own abstract art!

I think art is a pretty personal thing.  Although I can’t afford pricey originals, I also try my best to not buy the generic mass produced stuff which you can find anywhere including the hardware and grocery store!

Tying to make your own art can be the best and definitely the most cost effective solution -even if you have never picked up a paint brush in your life!  In fact, I always tell people to NOT use a paint brush.  Taking a tip from an artist friend of mine, she told me that for those just starting out, using your fingers and hands or at least tools that you are more familiar with will always yield better results.

I think every single one of us has some creativity, and it’s definitely worth exploring.  It can be a fun thing to do with your kids or a great stress reliever to do alone on a rainy afternoon.

  1. INSPIRATION.  Start by finding some art you like.  Inspiration is important and it will help you imagine and have some sort of plan of action.
  2. SUPPLIES. Choose your colour palette and purchase all of your paint ahead of time.  Next decide if you will paint on a canvas, poster board, wood or cloth.  To keep costs down you can choose to paint over-top a cheap reproduction you already have laying around or snap up something at a second hand shop!
  3. BE PATIENT. Take your time and be patient.  You may need to let the paint dry before applying other, different colours over top.
  4. GET DIRTY.  Use your hands and fingers or items you are familiar using like a spatula, stick, fork, dish sponge, small roller or even a leaf from your favourite plant!
  5. SPRAY IT. Keep a spray bottle of water handy.  It can keep the paint wet longer while you work with it, help to blend colours, water down your art piece to make it more translucent or even create cool random dripping effects!  Also, a can of actual spray paint is handy to have around too: Give a list mist over top of your painting and your art will take on a different dimension and have a more interesting texture.

Choosing to paint on a large poster board for this art project allowed me more freedom and gave me the option to select the best ‘part’ to cut and to frame out!

For details on the polka-dot art piece (middle, above) click here


seeing spots: DIY paint chip art

Making art using paint chips, had been on my ‘to-try-one-day’ list for about a decade!  The other day I felt it was time to switch around or maybe even purchase some new art for my living room.  After checking out prices of a few pieces I liked I quickly remembered why I usually end up making my own!  -I decided it was time to give paint-chip-art a try!

Armed with my brand new Martha Stewart hole puncher (which I scored for 40% off with coupon at Michael’s!).  I went through my paint chip bag (yes I have a huge bag of paint chips arranged by colour -hello, I am home stylist!Lol!) I set aside piles in the tones I wanted: palest to darkest shades of grey with some (not too pink) purple ones.

After ‘punching out’ some colours, I began to lay them out playing around with the design.  Finally I decided I preferred a more random, organic look.  And just decided to start gluing (using a glue stick) onto my piece of cardboard.  This took a lot longer that I expected (about 2.5 hours for a 22 x 16 inch surface).  Luckily when the kids got home from school they were curious and eager to help out for a little.

More pics to come when I have it in its final resting place ;-)

*Published on BOB VILA NATION October 24th, 2012

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