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Fool-Proof DIY Painting

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Warm Fuzzies
I get to tell you about something awesome that happened to me! If there's one thing I love more than creating DIY things for me to enjoy in my home, it's making something for someone else to enjoy in theirs! I haven't had that opportunity very often, but it's a ton of fun when I do!

My friend Elena was over at my house and loved the set of canvases I made for the living room. You can see more shots of these paintings in my "living room after" post here.

She liked them so much she asked if I would do a set for her house (brave lady! :) 

I was honored, a little nervous, and a lot excited to try another set of these paintings. And since I did the ones on my wall before Clever Nest was up and running, I have the chance to show you the process here now!

I Ain't No Picasso
First of all, let me say, I AM NO PAINTER. And my drawing skilz are embarrassing. I haven't messed with paint and brushes since 6th grade, and I wasn't hot back then either. I'm the most surprised of all that these turned out ok the first time, let alone a second time!

Let's say it this way, if I was held hostage by Evil Doctor Von Artsy, and forced to paint a flower to save my life, I might have to order my last meal.

But these paintings I CAN do, (no drawing required) and you can too! Impressionistic color bands and lots of blending. No sweat.

Painting Supplies:
  • Canvas (I used two 24x30 Gallery Wrapped style)
  • Molding Paste and trowel
  • Paint, in at least two shades of each main color, the more the better!
  • Paint Brush (mine was a rounded tip, size 8)
Step 1. Apply Ze Paste
Molding Paste that is. This product gives the painting a rich, 3D effect. An 8oz. container of Golden Artist Colors Molding Paste was more than enough to cover both canvases.
 It's best to scrape the paste on in thin layers, no more than 1/8 in. thick.

I should just go out and buy one of those stupid little plastic trowels, but since I don't have one, I used my pie server (don't worry, I made sure I washed it good afterward).

I made lots of short horizontal strokes in the same direction I wanted to apply my paint, so it would kind of look like my paintbrush had made all those ridges. You could get the same textured effect by using paint with a thicker body (just don't say "thicker body" to their face, they can be easily offended), but those are more "pro" quality paints and can get expensive if you're not planning to invest in a career of Picasso-ing.

So I applied my paste and let things dry for 24 hrs.

Step 2. Chose the Colors 
Elena wanted to put these in her living room, and chose white, aqua, and beige to match her decor. I bought 4-5 shades of each color. Each one was about $1, so I spent about $15 for all the shades. It's a mix of American and Craft Smart brands. I didn't use a whole bottle of any color, they stretched pretty far.

Step 3. Paint, Paint, Paint
I worked in sections, painting each band of color separately.  To get rich multitones (I realize multitones is not an official word, but since I'm not an official painter, I think it stands), dip one half of the brush in one color and half in another, and let them mix as you brush them on the canvas.

Multitones: noun. What happens when you dip your paintbrush in two different colors and slather on a canvas. "I got rich multitones following Alyssa's tutorial." 

 I made fat "x" strokes to blend things together. As the bands of color change, add more or less of each color on the brush.

Here is how mine looked after I finished the beige section

Step 4. Done!
I love using paint because if I don't like the way it's looking, I can simply paint over it to tweak things as much as my heart desires. I must have redone the whole thing at least 3 times! After much tweaking, here is the final look. You can see how much of the dark beige I tweaked out, comparing the pic above to the ones below.

Kind of reminds me of water and sand at the beach : ). The style is so "impressionistic" and whatever, that it's almost impossible to mess up.
Close up of the texture:

The paintings I did originally were inspired by the vibrant colors of Can Cun, where I took this shot on our honeymoon. *sigh, peaceful.

I couldn't believe how blue that water was!

Aww, us on our honeymoon :) Kissy face.

Impressionistic translation:

Here's the breakdown for this project:
$40 for 2 24x30 Canvases, from Michael's, with a 40% off coupon
$15 Paint
$13 Molding Paste
($6 Brush, already had one)

Total: $68 for two totally custom, "yeah, I painted that!" art pieces.

I'm so proud of myself for taking on the scary painting project, and am feeling so empowered that my "skilz" are actually repeatable! Ha ha, I am no longer intimidated, Dr. Artzy, bring it on.

Are you painting/drawing inept like me? (if not, just say yes to make me feel better) Do you think you'll give this a try?
<3 Alyssa

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