Today I have the honor of having a guest on the blog!! June Olsen has the blog called Nostalgiecat, is based in London and is doing a tutorial with us on how easy it is to make the big statement Picture for in Our home…oh I’m in!!!
Adding a BIG piece of art to your interior is a great way to personalize and add some colour with maximum impact! It is a real and confident statement!
Big art can be very expensive, and hard to choose, especially if you are after a certain colour combination that will work with your interiors. You don’t need an art degree or a big supply of materials to create your own, and by making it yourself you can custom it to the size and colour! Making it ABSTRACT will keep the focus on the colours and expression of the art, as well as being an easy option when it comes to DIY.
In this tutorial I will show you how you can create an easy and cheap, huge piece of abstract art to fill that big blank wall in your home, like the one I made (above):o
The most costly investment you’ll need to make this will be your “canvas”: I used a sheet of Spruce plywood that I bought from my local builders merchant for less than £30…I chose the 18mm spruce plywood because I love the grain in it, and the thickness makes it look substantial and will minimise any bowing of the wood. The sheet I bought was actually twice the size I needed, and I simply asked them to cut for me at the store, leaving me with enough leftover for other projects/pieces of art.
Other than that you’ll just need some paint colours in your choice. I used DecoArt crafters acrylic paints as they lend themselves nicely to painting on wood + there is such a great array of colours to choose from. And for less than £2 a bottle, it is an affordable option.
You’ll also need some big round stickers, like these, but I got mine from Søstrene Grene.
A credit card for painting With.
A piece of cardboard to use as a palette and some baby wipes/a damp cloth for clean ups.
You’ll be using the credit card to drag the paint onto the wood With. The idea is that by using a credit card as opposed to a brush it is easier to get a clean “smudge of paint” with neat “square” edges…Using a credit card to paint with will work best on a hard surface, hence the choice of wood as a “canvas”.
Simply pick up some paint with your card, then place it onto the wood where you want it, and drag the paint down towards you, applying a light pressure, flexing the card like a squeegee. It is best to use this technique with your wood canvas laying flat, in a space where you can move all the way around it , so that you can get the technique right all around.
As I mentioned above, DIY’ing your own piece of art will give you the freedom to choose colours that will work with your interiors, and a great tip to get this right is to take colour inspiration from a big piece of furniture, like a sofa or a rug that you already own. Try to limit your colour palette to a maximum of 10 colours…the less confident you are about choosing colours, the less different colours.
When creating a Big piece of art, you’ll want it to make a statement, so try to be brave and inject one or two bright colours into your piece!!
Let’s get started:
Start with your palest, most neutral colours. Use the credit card to drag on the paint, creating blocks of colour throughout your canvas..
Try to create neat edges to the dragged paint…leaving the top and bottom of your colour blocks staggered in a random way. Should you get any rough and smudged areas, use the edges of the credit card to neaten it up! A little in the corners, a little in the middle…Try not to make it too symmetrical, but spread these first blocks of colour all over…When getting abstract with colour, symmetry is your “enemy”: What you want is a seemingly random and relaxed pattern. A great way to achieve this is to use colours in blocks of 3. Visually the number 3 of anything is most pleasant on the eye (Just ask any good florist!!)
You’ll want to make these first pale/neutral colour blocks quite big, but don’t cover the entire canvas, Leave some gaps of wood and don’t worry too much about solid coverage with the paint, as later I will show you how to make the woodgrain coming through part of the expression in your painting!
When changing colour, simply use a baby wipe/ damp cloth to wipe your credit card clean before continuing with the next colour.
Next you’ll want to start getting a bit braver with your colours: Working with, not your brightest choices, but your midtones, start adding these to the canvas.
If you did a little test before starting, you should have a rough idea as to which colours go together. Again work in blocks of 3 of each colour and avoid making the expression on the canvas too symmetrical: Vary the shapes and sizes of your blocks…..a big one here, a long one on the edge and a tiny square somewhere near the middle (You get the idea!)
Step back and squint at your painting to work out where to place the next colour Block! Start overlapping and layering the colours at this stage, but do make sure the previous paint is fully dried before going over with another colour, as you don’t want the colours to smudge together!
When you have blocked out all your mid tones of colour (But still left some patches of raw wood) it is time for the stickers:
The stickers will act as a barrier for the next coats of paint, so that later you can just peel them off and reveal what’s underneath, creating a mysterious insight into the previous layers of paint…
Stick them on at in random patterns spread throughout your canvas. Choose to cover areas where the current paint blocks look interesting:
I liked the way the yellow had mixed over the white in the picture above, so covered these areas with the stickers….and also stickered over some of the raw wood areas, so that this could be revealed later.
Now is the time to go bold with your colours! Using your brightest colours go over the canvas, and block out as before, but this time also over the stickers…Remember to step back and squint to work out where to place your colour blocks…RANDOM is the word!!
Once you have added your brightest colours, take a little break….let the paint dry and your eyes rest…
When you come back to it , you may want to make a few adjustments:
I felt that I needed the neutral areas to be larger and the brightest colour blocks to be smaller, so I set about covering some of the brighter areas with some of the paler paints…
This will also create some interesting effects where the bright paints are showing through the pale colours…
As you can see in the image above, some of the areas are looking a bit messy, so I also neatened up any rough edges and changed the shape of some of the colour blocks at this stage.
When I was happy with the balance of colours in my painting I left the paint to dry fully. Knowing when to stop is probably as hard as making a start….so my rule of thumb is: when it stops being fun, STOP!!
Then finally, carefully lift and peel off the stickers to reveal the glimpses into the previous layers: This is where it all comes together….you’ll see:
The spaces left by the stickers adds depth and creates some air into you colour blocks, lightening the expression in your painting. And adds some detailed interest upclose.
Make any final adjustments if you feel like it, and you’re done!
I love how mine came out and it makes a huge statement in my living room…
See how I’ve matched the colours to my rug? I’ve picked up the mustardy yellow and the minty blues, that is also picked up by my accessories. I am also pleased that I was brave and added the corally red (a colour I wouldn’t normally choose ), as it really lifts and livens up the space and makes a huge impact to my interior!
The Picture has become a real talking point, as everyone can see something different in it (I love that about abstract art)….but for me, it is the close up details, like the way the colours have layered on top of each other and where the peeled off stickers have revealed the previous layers that creates an interest!