diy : abstract art

First of all, I feel honored that I am in sync with one of my favorite blogs (and role models), a beautiful mess. There were the phrase shirts last week and now abstract art–does this mean I’ve made it? Are we on the same cycle?! Anyhow, I have a fun and inexpensive art project to give your walls a face lift! This past weekend D and I finished our final MadMen binge (at least until 2015). In attempting to treasure our beloved show, we continued to discuss Cooper’s taste in art and his Rothko painting that was added to make others think and feel something, whatever you would like it to be. The more we saw it in his office, I realized: we could totally make these! With a trip to Michaels, we had our supplies:

paints       the setup

  • red, yellow, blue, white & black acrylic paint
  • 16″ x 20″ canvas
  • paint brushes (various sizes to vary your brush strokes, such as these)
  • trash bags or tarp to protect your surface

To begin the project, we first taped down 3 trash bags cut in half to avoid getting acrylic paint on the table. Once you have a nice surface to work on, begin mixing your desired colors. I painted with cool colors so that D could take home my masterpiece (that way I could have the warmer piece and an original of his). Once your work surface is set up, begin applying a base coat to the canvas. And remember, it’s abstract–you can do whatever you want and it is still called art ;)

painting process       painting in progress

I started with a gray undertone, painting the edges of the canvas and a 2-3 inch border to give the painting some depth. Then I began adding a deeper black on top of it and let the colors blend. After the gray base, I introduced blue onto the canvas. You can go as bold as you’d like through this entire process. I wanted to have two sections to my piece so I made one a little lighter and one darker to differentiate between the two sections. D lined his with a two inch black border and filled the inside with red. He opted out of my “art school” blending tips and wanted something with more straight lines and rigidity…but wound up mixing some yellow in to add orange and thus fusing the colors on the canvas. A good compromise. We spent about an hour for this project: adding more layers, mixing colors to add atop the canvas, and of course, letting paint dry.

final-cool       final-warm

After some finessing at the end, we were both pleasantly surprised with the final product. My abstract leaned towards a Monet and Rothko mix (my interpretation) while D’s stayed true to Rothko’s vibrant hues with an additional Uhelski flair 3 sided border. He placed his at the entry to his apartment with not a lot underneath it–what every bachelor pad needs, a gallery wall. With a lack of wall space at my apartment, I found a nice place above a little art niche above our “drawers that have everything.”

Stay tuned to see if I can keep up the streak of thinking like my favorite sister blogging duo —a beautiful mess, if you want to collaborate, bake ANYthing, or create a “DIWR: do it with rachel” day, I’m your girl. xx

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