DIY: Easy-Peasy Artwork

January 12th, 2011

Today my sister came over, and we whipped up a painting to hang in her new apartment. Believe it or not it only took us a few hours to complete. You can easily make your own with a canvas, a paint brush, 1/2″ masking tape, and three colors + white acrylic paint. Just tape up your canvas every which way, paint a gradient of each color in the taped segments, remove the tape, and enjoy!

tape painting

48 Comments

  1. Michelle

    Yaaaay! It looks so good! :D Thanks for your help with it! :D

  2. How easy and fun. Every so often I think I can be artistic and I completely get into it…. at least this one wouldn’t cost me an arm and a leg.

  3. It’s gorgeous! What a great idea to use masking tape. You always have such inspiring ideas!

  4. Shawn

    I love it.

  5. Talia

    This is fantastic!! Thanks so much for the lovely idea!

  6. John

    You ladies did a great job together.

  7. artist

    not to get into a ‘what is art’ conversation, or belittle this because crap damien hirst and other so called’ artists’ spew out isn’t even art.. but I would call this decorative design not an ‘art work’
    that’s why so many people like say mark rothoko prints its really about how it looks in a room, completments the furniture etc.

  8. Wit & Whistle

    artist – Yeah, that’s fair to say. Our goal was to fill some empty wall space with something that coordinates with her decor. Mission accomplished!

  9. roddy

    Go to a fabric store and buy a couple of yards of cloth that is too gaudy for clothing, but perfect for abstract art. Use cheap furring strips and corner brackets from Home Depot to make a frame. Stretch the fabric tight and staple it from the back.
    Presto! A solution for that big empty space.
    No talent required.

  10. Josh

    Wow, that really looks amazing. I’d love to have something like that on my wall, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it for a long time to come.

  11. Emily

    I would love to try this, but I have no experience or knowledge of painting a gradient. What’s the best/easiest way to do paint a gradient for this project?
    And what is the recommended canvas? Anything? And the canvas is already attached to something to hang it? Looks nice.
    Anyway, cool idea. I’d love to try it!

    • Wit & Whistle

      To paint a gradient you need white paint and another color of paint, let’s say brown. Squeeze a little blob of each color onto a paper plate or something similar. Start on one side of the taped off shape with brown and paint a small section. Then mix a little white into the brown on your paper plate to make a lighter brown. Paint that color on your canvas next to the 100% brown. As you move across the shape painting just continue to mix the brown with more and more white paint so it gets lighter as you continue painting. By the time you reach the opposite edge you should be using 100% white. Hopefully that makes sense. It’s kind of hard to describe, since it’s something you partially figure out by trial and error as you go along. :) You could practice on a scrap piece of paper before painting on the canvas to make sure you have the hang of it.

      If you go to any art or craft store you can buy stretched canvases. They should also carry mounting hardware to hang your canvas on the wall.

  12. CJS

    I am wanting to try this project on two canvases I have. I am fairly talented when it comes to this kind of thing, but I want to understand what “tool” you are applying to the canvas in the picture in the upper right of the graphic with this post. Can you shed some light on what you are using and doing there? It would be greatly appreciated!

  13. CJS

    WW: and you just used some white paint to apply the “streaks” to the already painted canvas. Was the paint area you were covering with that brush still wet?

    • Wit & Whistle

      Yes, the painted area we were painting in the photo was still wet. We did each taped off segment all at once without waiting for the paint to dry. It’s easiest to blend the paints into a smooth gradient when the area is still wet.

  14. CJS

    Excellent! That’s all I needed! Thanks so much for the additional info and follow-ups!

  15. whoah. it’s very easy indeed. looks amazing… ♥

  16. Jen

    I love that! Did you use acrylic for all of the colors as well? Is there a special brush that you would suggest to use?

    • Wit & Whistle

      Yes, all the colors are acrylic. Just use any brush you’re comfortable with! I used a round tip brush.

  17. seeing this I have some great ideas that I could do for my spare bedroom. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Aneesa

    Let’s say, hypothetically, that I don’t know what acrylic paint is….

    How does the paint have different shades? or do you just keep mixing it with white?

    • Wit & Whistle

      You just mix each color with more and more white paint to get lighter and lighter shades of the color.

  19. Wow, that looks amazing. I wish you had a few more “in progress” photos. I love the mod look of it, do you think it would work as well with colors?

  20. sam

    thankyou so much my one looks so good in my room thankyou!!:)

  21. sam

    do you have any other easy art pieces if you do could you put it on here

    • wit & whistle

      Not off the top of my head, but I’ll brainstorm to see what I can come up with. :)

  22. Love this idea. Thanks for sharing!

  23. I have bought a few $100 artworks from Melbourne based artist Mendo (from Graysonline). Was better than getting in car, finding an art store, paying $58 in materials, making a mess somewhere in my house, cleaning that up and then realising it looks like crap :)

    Why do I know this? Yes I did make an artwork! Never again. That took a day off my life, wasn’t fun and I earn more than $100 in a day.

    Hope they go up in value :)

    • Amanda (wit & whistle)

      Yeah, if you don’t enjoy the process of making something yourself this project probably isn’t worth the effort. :)

  24. Amy

    OMG! LOVE it!

  25. Nicole

    WW: I love this and want to make this my project for the weekend, can you tell me what colors you used? Because whatever you did will go perfectly with my living room decor. Thank you!

    • Amanda (wit & whistle)

      Oh, I have no idea Nicole! I have a huge box full of paints and just grabbed some. Sorry I can’t be more specific. If you just use burnt umber, burgundy, and a dark (almost black) brown it should come close to the photos.

  26. jennie3576

    as a graphic designer and fine arts major, i find it disheartening when people criticize other people’s art work and decide that it’s “not art.” frankly, like beauty, art is in the eye of the beholder. i can tell you that i have many friends and family members that “don’t get” or don’t like my art. but there are many that enjoy what i do. the mention of some “famous” artists in a post before mine prove my point. one was mentioned whose artwork i despise and frankly don’t understand. but that doesn’t mean it’s not art.

    the masking taped lines actually remind me of an artist i did a series of studies on: piet mondrian. is it exactly like his? no. is it similar? no. but the lines dividing the colors is a similar concept. does that make his better? that i leave up to the individual to judge for him/herself.

    kudos to the wit & whistle ladies for being creative and expressing their artistic talent!

  27. Christine

    I love this and going to try it! I don’t have much experence with painting. Does it matter if you remove the tape while the paint is wet or wait for it to dry?

    • Amanda (wit & whistle)

      It’s a little better to remove the tape when the paint is still damp, but since acrylic paints dry quickly removing it right after the paint dries is fine too. I just wouldn’t let it dry too long before removing the tape, so the paint doesn’t peel up with it.

  28. kathy Brazil

    Great lesson to do with my middle school students. This is great for those who feel that they are not good in art beacause they can’t draw.

  29. Kaylee

    Did you paint the main color on there then added white paint while it was still wet to get it whiter?

  30. Amateaur

    Hi Amanda, I made a similar painting and it’s come out really nice. But the problem is that my paint has leaked through the masking tape in different parts of the painting. If I paint with white paint in only those parts then the painting will end up looking patchy. Any ideas on how I can fix this issue?

    • Amanda (wit & whistle)

      If you painted on a canvas with acrylic you can try getting a damp paper towel wrapped over your fingernail to scrub/scratch the unwanted paint away. Sometimes that works for me if the paint hasn’t been drying for too long. Other than that I think your only other options would be to try to mix a white that perfectly matches your canvas color and paint over the unwanted spots, or you could paint all the white areas with white paint so they cover the unwanted paint and don’t look blotchy.

    • Michelle

      Frog tape!

  31. Tamara

    Thanks for posting this! My boyfriend and I used your photo and tips as a guide to paint a 2′ x 4′ canvas to hang above our bed. We’re so happy with how it turned out. What a fun way to spend our anniversary!

  32. Michelle

    Way Cool!

  33. I made this. Turned out great. IMG_6425.png

  34. I’m thinking of making some gradient artwork with acrylic paints myself. There are a lot of digital artists using blended gradient shapes that overlay each other and make new colours where they cross. I want tol try to replicate that effect but I’m not sure what would be the best medium to achieve that. I was thinking of glazing medium but it might be too shiny. Would matte medium work? Anyone got any advice?

  35. today at our paint and pottery studui I painted the design on a 4×6 inch tile…I have not fired it yet, but it looks good. If it turns out I will try design on another tile and use light and dark olive green, peach and pastel orange. Thank you for the idea.

 

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