Updated: Oct 20, 2020
This post contains affiliate links
When I was in school, my favourite subject was always art. I even took a couple of art classes as electives in university so that I'd have fun, creative breaks from the readings, essays, and exams that came with all of my other courses. I may not have been as talented as some of my classmates, but creating art and experimenting with various materials and techniques always brought me joy — which is why I continue to do both to this day!
Even if you weren't a huge fan of art in school or if you haven't tried your hand at it in quite some time, I think you'll still find today's DIY easy and enjoyable. Using basic materials and techniques, I'm going to show you how easy it is to create a one-of-a-kind piece of abstract art. In fact, you probably already have most of the required materials somewhere in your home.
Gold leaf (optional)
Silver leaf (optional)
Dollar stores are gold mines when it comes to crafting supplies. Almost everything I used in this project— from the canvas to the paint to the brushes — came from some sort of discount store, which means you don't have to worry about forking over a bunch of money in order to give it a try.
I also decided to use some glitzy accents for my piece. This is something that's totally optional, but if you happen to have things like gold leaf and glitter sitting in a drawer or closet, I highly recommend throwing it into the mix!
I'm not going to break down what I did into individual steps, and the reasons for that are 1) That would be very difficult to do, and 2) The point of this project is to let your imagination take the wheel. No two pieces will ever look the same, so there's no point in giving detailed instructions.
However, I will share the basic things I did so that you have a solid starting point when you decide to create your own work of art.
My first step was to decide the colour palette I wanted to work with. Because our home has a lot of cool tones in it, I wanted to stick with colours that complemented them. As you can see from my mixing plate, I opted for various blues and purples, along with a splash of teal and a hint of black.
Once I had all of my colours, I decided to cover my entire canvas with a pale base. I simply mixed a small amount of teal paint with a generous amount of white, and used a foam brush to apply it.
I then created the same mixture, but added a small amount of peacock blue to it. I added that to the lower half of the canvas, making sure to blend it out as I worked my way up.
From there, I went totally off-script and started experimenting. Using different brushes and strokes, I applied a variety of blues and purples. I mixed the paints until I wound up with something I liked, and then I added it to my canvas at random.
To create a soft, blended finish, I used a clean, wet brush on the paint before it had a chance to dry completely.
The only thing I did maintain throughout the entire painting process was the direction I was working. If you look at my piece, you'll see all of the colours flow in a diagonal direction from left to right.
I repeated the process of mixing and painting and blending until I was happy with the way my canvas looked. Once everything had dried, I moved on to adding my metallic accents!
Because I didn't have the proper adhesive for my gold and silver leafing sheets, I grabbed the closest thing to it that I already had: school glue. It may not be the best product for this technique, but I figured it was good enough for what I was trying to accomplish.
All I did was use a small paint brush to apply super light coats of glue to random parts of the canvas. I then placed gold leaf on top of the strokes and walked away. After about 45 minutes or so, I peeled off the sheets to reveal a beautiful, golden design.
I repeated this process with the silver leaf. And to really make things pop, I decided to add a few streams of gold glitter, too.
Voilà! Gorgeous art on a shoestring budget!
Like I said, the beauty of this DIY is that no two pieces will ever be the same. From the colour combo possibilities to the opportunity to mix various media, the sky's the limit.
If this project inspires you to get crafty, let me know by sharing your creations with me! Leave a comment or use #katiesaracreates on social media. And don't forget to subscribe so you don't miss out on future posts.