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DIY abstract artwork

Artwork is one of those things that can totally MAKE a home. Inject a room with artwork that you love, and all of a sudden it will feel so much more personal and like you. It brings the life to a space, you know? The hump that people sometimes face is that it can be expensive. Thing is though, if you look around and get creative, there are so many budget-friendly ways to bring interesting artwork into your home (I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to collecting DIY artwork ideas). I recently needed a piece for above our mint and gold buffet, and had a very specific colour scheme and look in mind (and a zero budget). The solution? Paint my own DIY abstract art.


What you’ll need:
-A stretched canvas, whatever size you want (you can get canvases from any art/craft store like Michael’s, Joanne’s, etc). A white or black canvas works, as you are going to layer lots of paint on so it doesn’t really matter what colour you start with.
-Paint. Acrylic or even leftover latex wall/furniture paint (This set of paints is a great kit to get started with – I like this budget friendly but good brand)
Liquid gold foil
-Paint brushes
-A plate for mixing your paintsDIY abstract art step by step tutorial - via the sweetest digs

I had a white canvas left over from a previous project that I used for this DIY artwork. It was big and just the right size for above the buffet, and I had already painted the base white (it had been something else before). I had mis-placed my easel (guys, you don’t even want to see how disorganized and crazytown our storage area is looking right now…), so I just painted my canvas with it leaning up against a chair. #makeitwork

canvas 1

As for my paints and brushes? In order to get the exact colour scheme I wanted, I had to use a few different paint types. Some were acrylic paint that I had in my stash (my fave brand is Liquitex Basics – this pink one and this white one), and the grays were actually leftover wall paint that I had used on the doors on the main floor.


I also used a few different brushes. This green rubber one I had picked up recently gives a stripe-y look, a large (crappy) brush from some past furniture painting projects, and a finer art brush for the gold.


I started off by applying a little bit of liquid gold foil paint with a delicate paint brush to a few areas of the canvas. This is what adds that bit of glam and extra dimension to your piece. It’s much more intense than regular gold paint, and easier to use than applied gold foil. I use this one by PLAID and really like it.

canvas 2

Then it’s a matter of layering on paint. Don’t be too rigid about this or labour over it too much. I always start out by applying the darker colours. You can see here that I added strokes of the gray and the pink to get started.

canvas 3

Then I layered over with white. I knew I wanted this canvas to be really quite light overall, so I was liberal with my white application.

canvas 4You want to make sure that your entire canvas get covered with paint so you get depth and dimension – just put lots on, and then if it’s getting too colourful or dark, blend in tons of white over top.

I was going with mostly horizontal strokes to begin with, but then added some vertical in the bottom corner to again add more interest.

canvas 5Applied my last batch of white paint and blended it all in to get the soft look I was after. Then, even though I felt like I could keep tweaking and tweaking, I stepped back and put down the brush. The nice thing with acrylics (versus something like watercolour) is that you can always add more and cover up areas after your piece has dried. SO – relax and let the artwork sit for a little while before you go overboard with changes.

canvas 6Even though I painted this vertically, I ended up liking it horizontally better over my buffet.

DSC_1297There is no major trick to creating DIY abstract artwork, but just have fun with it, use the colours you love, and make sure to blend blend blend.

And if gold is your jam like it is for me, then seriously do the gold foil thing. It adds so so much to the canvas. DSC_1299 Hang, and get ready to get all kinds of comments and questions on where you got your new artwork! I promise people are going to be super surprised when you tell them you DIY’d that bad boy.mint and gold dresser -3

Have you guys done at DIY artwork at your place? Got any favourites to share? I wanna hear about them!

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