Not everyone is born with the artistic gene, but most people know what they like when it comes to choosing decor for their living space. Great art pieces can be costly, but if you can’t afford to buy the art you love, make it yourself. DIY canvas paintings are the perfect solution for adding color, texture, and personality to your home. Your local craft store has everything you need. Pull together some acrylic paints, find a canvas that fits the space and you’ll be ready to go.
Wise, quirky or funny, quotes can be the perfect subject for your DIY canvas painting. Whether it’s a single word, your favorite excerpt from a book, a popular line from a movie or song, or a witty quip from a historical figure, the possibilities are endless. Freehand the letters with acrylic paint pens or use a stencil for the lettering. Line the wording vertically along one side or straight down the middle. Choose different colors for each letter or use a monochrome effect. There’s no wrong way to do it.
You may be surprised at the dozens of paint brushes available when you’re choosing some for your project. Each style creates a different effect on the canvas. Some brushes have very soft bristles, and others have stiff ones. Use fine-line brushes to create tiny details and wide, flat brushes to create bold strokes or to cover a large area. Round or pointed tips are great for sketching and outlining, but they work better with thinner paint. Use an oval-shaped filbert brush for creating flower petals and soft, round edges. Combine brush types and vary paint consistencies for a variety of textures on the canvas.
Transform simple circles, squares, triangles, and rectangles into eye-catching focal points for a large wall. Combine an array of shapes on the canvas in a variety of colors or focus on a specific shape and limit your color selection to similar shades. Identify specific colors and patterns in your decor that you love and recreate them on your canvas. For example, if you have a bedspread or comforter that uses an amazing palette of colors, paint your canvas using a similar pattern and color palette.
When it comes to creating DIY canvas painting, there are no rules. Don’t limit yourself to painting with traditional tools like paintbrushes. Try cutting a piece of citrus fruit in half and using the open edge as a stamp to create interesting shapes. Raw corn-on-the-cob or any vegetable or fruit with a textured exterior creates a unique pattern. Roll the produce in the paint color of your choice, then across the canvas. Once it’s dry, try rolling it in a different direction using a different color. Experiment with different foods for an assortment of intriguing shapes and effects.
Instead of one larger canvas, consider painting a series of two or more canvases to line up side-by-side on your wall. Picture a full scene, then break it down into a series. Paint a single scene on each canvas so that when you hang them on the wall next to each other, they create one single, complete subject matter or thought. Choose words, a panoramic landscape, or a gradient of shades of your favorite color.
Compose a one-of-a-kind, canvas painting using stencils. These handy art tools are widely available in hobby and craft stores. You can also discover free downloads of stencil patterns online in a huge selection of patterns and art styles. Some sites allow you to upload a photo and generate a stencil from it. Or, create your own stencil using a mylar craft sheet and a craft or utility knife. Layer designs in different colors for more of a dimensional effect.
For straight, sharp lines, try using masking tape to lay out the design on the canvas. Paint over the masking tape, across the entire canvas. Once the paint dries, remove the masking tape to reveal your design. Don’t limit yourself to geometric designs. Cut the masking tape into interesting shapes before applying it to your canvas. Vary paint consistencies for additional effects. Try using metallic, glitter, and opalescent paints to generate interesting details and texture.
Most canvases are not absorbent enough to create a watercolor effect. However, you can purchase canvases specifically for watercolor paints. Cover the canvas in water. Add drops of your chosen colors around the canvas. Use a foam brush to blend colors together. Once you’ve painted your canvas, tilt it in different directions to create interesting patterns and shapes. Try using an empty dropper bottle to blow new patterns across the canvas. Allow your completed DIY watercolor canvas to dry thoroughly before hanging on the wall.
Budding DIY canvas artists will love this technique. It’s easy and it produces spectacular results. Lean your canvas against a wall and pray it with water. The canvas should be wet enough that the paint runs down the canvas once applied. Apply the paint in globs across the top and spray them with water. It should run down the length of the canvas, creating vertical designs. Add more paint if you wish, but you’ll have better results if you limit yourself to just a few colors. If the paint is too thick in the bottle, add a little water so that when you apply the globs of paint to the canvas, the paint will drip downwards once you spray it.
Fabricate amazing textures using simple household items. Cotton swabs are perfect for creating round dots with textured edges. Use them for painting leaves on trees and flower petals. If you like the idea of a textured background, throw in some salt with your paint. Or, take an old credit card, press it against the canvas and run it across a painted section to achieve a bark-like texture. Use sponges or wadded up newspaper and dab the canvas with a chosen color. You’ll create interesting background effects and textures that vary each time you use the technique.