By Hayley Shaw
We live in an era where presenting your home in a modern and contemporary way has never been easier. With more shops pumping out accessories and furnishings at lower prices its easy and affordable to give your home a makeover.
[contextly_sidebar id=”GJm7eCNALwKwM98Qxzjj2QfXlyS9Fb37″]But there are still certain items which are placed on the significantly higher top shelves, for those wanting original pieces. I’m one of ‘those’ people. If I spot a vase I own on a friend’s hall table, mine will make a quiet retreat to the back of my kitchen cupboard to await the yearly house purge. Petty I know, but I can’t help it. I want to be different!
Amongst the original high-end items are paintings, and although ‘thought provoking’ art is usually worth every cent the artist is asking for, $5,000 for one piece is not going to fit into every budget. This is where creating your own original art can work beautifully. Sure, it’s probably not going to come to life like the works of Vincent van Gogh, Leonardo de Vinci or Bert from Mary Poppins, but just matching it in with the colours of your current decor items can really bring the room together.
I can sense a lot of you groaning so I’ve created a very simple, achievable example with steps, so you really can’t get lost.
Before you start, make sure you’re in ‘the zone’. You might as well enjoy the relaxation of this project so make a little me time. If the following apply, make sure the kids are happily watching a DVD, the pets are fed and watered, your other half is aware that you really need this quiet time to make you a better contributor to the relationship, then set the iPod to play relaxation tracks before putting on a pot of camomile tea. Perfect.
STEP 1 – Firstly, you’re going to need a few tools and supplies. Some of them you will probably already have in your stationery draw. For the example below I used a pencil, masking tape, a ruler, a paint brush, paint and a flat board canvas which measured 46x46cm. This technique, however, could be achieved on any sized canvas board or a canvas which has been stretched over a frame.
STEP 2 – I’ve chosen to leave a two-inch border around my painting. After measuring and marking the corners two inches in, use your masking tape to create the border and edge for your painting. Then using the ruler again, mark every two inches along the inside of the taped border on all four sides. I just marked it with a dot. Once this is completed you can start laying down your masking tape diagonally, matching each dot with the dot on the adjoining side. Repeat this process again on the reverse diagonal. It should now look something like this:
STEP 3 – Time to paint. Make sure the masking tape is well and truly stuck. If it starts lifting up the paint will bleed through underneath. Load your paintbrush up with paint and start painting, starting the stroke on the tape then onto the canvas. This also helps to stop the bleeding as you’re not pushing paint against the tape, but over and off it. In my example I’ve used orange, purple and green acrylics.
STEP 4 – Ta-dah! The big reveal. You can wait until your painting is completely dry before removing the tape but if you’re super eager to see your handy work remove the tape carefully. You don’t want to let any tape fall back onto the canvas as you’re pulling it off. Here’s how mine turned out.
As you can see on my painting above, there are a few spots where the paint has bled under the tape but once dry it’s an easy fix, just using some white paint to carefully touch it up.
Here are a couple of other paintings I created using the same masking tape idea:
Now all you need to do is to have it framed and hang it proudly. And the best thing of all? You’ll be hard-pressed finding any friends with the same painting!
–Hayley Shaw is an Australian abstract artist residing in Northern NSW. Her blog and artworks can be viewed on hayleyshaw.com.au