April 20, 2010

DIY Original Art for the Home

Have you ever wished you could afford original art work for your home rather than a cute print that everyone and their dog has?  Well, you may not think of yourself as a painter, but I'm going to walk you through doing some easy, textured paintings for your home.

I painted these a couple of years ago, so forgive me for not having tons of pictures along the way.  I will still explain each step thoroughly.

This little set of three paintings are hung up my stairway.  While they look like oil paintings, they are not and they certainly cost a lot less to make.  Here's the skinny.

1) Buy your canvas.  You could actually use a piece of wood if you wanted, but I used these 12x12 canvases I found on sale.

2) Start with texture.  There are products made for this, like gesso, but they are pricey.  I bought "Plaster of Paris" to use instead.  It's like using pancake mix.  You don't need to measure it.  Just use as much water as you want to get the thickness you want.  I made it a tiny bit thinner than peanut butter.  Then, I took my fingers and spread it over the canvas in an "X" design.  (I'd run a few fingers diagonally across the canvas and then in the opposite direction.)

3) Paint your background color.  I painted a light tan all over and then a bit of green on the bottom.  I used acrylic paints for everything you see here.

4) Show off your texture.  I took brown paint and watered it down a lot.  I waited until the other layer of paint was dry and them brushed on the watery brown.  Because it is thin, it will seep into the lower areas and make your texture more noticeable.  If you put too much on, just blot it off to your liking.

5) Paint the trunks of the trees.  I used straight brown in some places and watered brown in other spots to make them look farther away.

6) Splat on some leaves.  Don't think too hard about this one.  Get globs of paint on your brush and just dab it everywhere.  You can mix the colors a bit to add variety to the leaf colors. 

7) Spray with a protective clear coat. 

That's about it.  Now, obviously you don't have to do trees just like this, but hopefully some of the ideas and concepts can inspire you with your own idea.

Thanks for stopping by!

A couple random notes:

- I think I'll be less annoyed with the whole merging thing now that I understand a bit more where some of you are coming from.  It makes sense.  Thanks for sharing your views.

- If you are "roaring," don't forget to link up your projects to the flickr group.  The link is above under "You Roared."  Also, make sure your pictures are shareable, so I can feature them if I want to.

- My husband and I are loving all the smoothy suggestions.  Thanks again!

- Thank you SO much for your loopdeelou feedback.  My sister and I are so excited about all your responses.  Don't forget to enter the giveaway below if you didn't already.


  1. wow! That is a impressive!

  2. Love your art. I think you have great talent because while you make painting those trees seem really easy, I think mine would look more like kindergarten fingerpainting :) You have done beautiful work!

  3. Wonderfully accomplished! I love your easy way of narration too; don't think that'll really be that easy to do!!

  4. Anonymous20.4.10

    You are so talented! Love these. Saw this on Ta day tuesday but of course, i am already a follower!

  5. So cool! I have designed Mother's Day artwork that you can download free, color yourself and then make cards, gifts, photo props, etc...


  6. U are full of DIY inspiration. Last week there was a sale at Michael's on canvases. Can you have ur people, call the people at Michael's and extend it through this week, I need smaller ones now?

  7. I gotta tell you, I stumbled apon your blog a few days ago, and I spent an hour going through all of your projects. You are the best! I think I can do most of the things you teach and I am having so much fun. Every day when I check my blog and see that you have updated it makes me so happy!! THANK YOU!! keep up the bloggin!

  8. I have always loved those pictures. I'm afraid to do them for myself because I always notice the mistakes in my own work. With that tut I might just give it a try.

  9. cute cute cute! I love the texture.

  10. I love these! My husband's an artist so we don't need any art, but i love them anyway!!

  11. Great job! Very creative!

  12. I really like these. I enjoy organic pieces, and these are beautiful - the colors, the patters, and the texture is lovely.

  13. These are really wonderful! They look so beautiful and they are so easy to make.

  14. These are very VERY awesome, I love what you did. They look fabulous!

  15. Very nice! I really, really like these. Ok, I'm inspired, now! :o)

  16. This is GREAT! Thanks for sharing! I have been meaning to make wall art for our house since we moved in about 2 years ago - and have yet to do it. I have been inspired! Thanks again!


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