February 29, 2012

Simple But Striking DIY Painting


First, let me thank everyone who has voted for my blog in Apartment Therapy's "The Homies".  (Don't forget that you can vote for more than one blog, until Friday).  I really appreciate that my readers are so supportive - your comments and emails really keep me going.

To help convince you to vote Dans le Townhouse, I'm showing off my latest DIY project.  I am constantly ogling dramatic black and white paintings but a stark, graphic painting just didn't seem to fit anywhere in the townhouse . . . until we started working on the basement.  That's when I realized that I have the perfect spot: the stairwell!

I 100% copied a painting I spotted on Pinterest and re-pinned. I didn't achieve an exact replica (far from it) but it was kind of a neat challenge to try to imitate someone else.  It's actually an assignment I have had to do for art classes.

Harper's Bazaar

Here's the how-to. 

  
Ignore the bad lighting (I was painting in the evening, in our super dreary basement) and the mess (someone broke in and started painting random parts of the wall and made a mess; I blame teenagers).

I started with a blank canvas.  I had originally painted it a cream shade for another (abandoned) project, so I repainted over it with white.   Because paint is so expensive and I have some primer getting thicker with age, I cheated and used primer.  It actually worked super well.  You can use a plain, gessoed canvas, fresh from the store, and skip this step but I do like the look of brush strokes.


1. I flipped the canvas upside down (to encourage paint to flow) and, with a giant paintbrush quickly dipped in water and then black acrylic paint, I started making broad brush strokes.

2, 3 & 4. I flipped the canvas back around so I could shape the composition and I built up the paint in layers.  I let little pops of white peek through but made other sections very inky.


I flipped the canvas over again so I could paint the bottom.  I wrapped the painting around the sides, too, which creates a neat effect.  And it's a great way to avoid deciding on a frame (although I have some tips on that). 



And, voila!  I hung it in the dining room to show it off, but it's going in the stairwell soon enough.  I'm still working on some other basement-y stuff.  It fades in kind of a neat way against the white walls, but it will really pop against the greige walls in the stairwell.



Here's a close up view:


You should know I suffer for my art.  When I first picked up this canvas to get to work, I narrowly missed touching the giant centipede lurking inside.  I threw down the canvas, phoned and harassed Hubby at work (looking for centipede squashing tips, I guess? It is officially his job), then took a look and the centipede seemed to have vamoosed.  Not entirely convinced, I poked at the canvas with a roller extension rod (much the way in which toddlers whack at things in an uncoordinated fashion) and out he popped.  Why do they like to run toward me?  Shudder.    

If you're new to Dans le Townhouse, check out my DIY Projects page for other DIY art ideas.

I linked this project up to Amanda's Pinterest Party, Fridays on Remodelaholic, My Girlish Whims and also the Pinterest Challenge on Young House Love.

86 comments:

  1. You're awesome. You're art's awesome. I hope you get lots of homie votes! xoxox

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  2. It turned out completely fantastic!!! I'm in exactly the same boat...love the B&W but I just can't think of a place in the house to put one! And you gave me the creeps with that centipede story...I can deal with a lot of creepy crawlers, but centipedes are *NOT* one of them! *shiver* Yuck.

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    1. Sorry for creeping you out! I'll be honest: I really wanted others to feel the trauma that was that poured into my painting, lol. I'm glad I'm not the only one totally horrified by centipedes. They do not live where I'm from, so they are a pretty new discovery. Blech.

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  3. Striking, indeed. Looks amazing, Tanya. I want one. :)

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  4. Ugh I hate centipedes!!! You are an artist and a warrior princess!

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  5. Sent a vote your way last night. We could use some Homie love over at midcenturymidwest.blogspot.com too ;)

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    1. Thank you muchly! I'm headed over to AT right now to vote for you.

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  6. Love how it turned out...you've done a great job! Very smart of you to turn the canvas up-side-down for natural stroke motions.

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  7. Ok, I didn't expect to like it. But I do. LOVE! I want one.

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  8. I love how you added the colourful pillow to the whole space to bring in the colour. I think it ups the stark, dramatic factor of the black and white. Beautiful!

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  9. Nice job Tanya. I have to admit, I am the resident bug-squasher & spider hunter around these parts (but I don't do snakes or rodents); it's not a job I relish, but I can't rely on my other half when he squeals like a girl over anything with multiple legs!

    Definitely jealous that you're able to find time to paint in your evenings, my easel has been particularly lonely these days.

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    1. No worries, my easel has been lonely too. I'm happy I found time to do this, but if you watch the clock move in my pics, it less than half an hour (minus the white, which took a few minutes another night).

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  10. It's great. I love it next to that pillow.

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  11. Awesome! It looks so good! And thanks for the tutorial. I may have to copy you. Imitation IS the highest form of flattery, right?

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    1. Thanks! I hope the person who made the painting I copied feels that way, lol.

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  12. Tanya, I'm just discovering you from AT's "The Homies" and just voted for your lovely blog!

    Our blog, Be. Love. Create, is nowhere near the big leagues, but we've got a few votes. =)

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    1. Thanks!! I stopped by your blog the other day (and voted for you). And I think your blog is lovely.

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  13. What a great painting. I love how organic it feels....very creative of you.

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  14. Tanya, your art looks fantastic! I actually thought the first picture was your inspiration, not your painting! Bravo and well done!!!

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  15. Love this! It does make a big impact!

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  16. It looks amazing! I'm going to try something similar one of these days!

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  17. Thanks for the comment...and the vote! Your blog is just great and I am heading over to vote. And following by linky!

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  18. Very nice... I love how it turned out!

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  19. What a fantastic piece of art! I really love it. In fact, I like yours better!! Your photography gets me every time! Your lighting is perfect!

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    1. Thanks so much - that is a high compliment from an artistic gal like yourself!

      That's called "it's 7:00am & I'm madly trying to snap these photos before work" light.

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  20. This is so cool. It may be the first DIY art idea I've seen that I feel like I could actually attempt and succeed at. I'll let you know :)

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  21. I'm so glad you stopped by D.I.Y. Louisville today! I have spent a good amount of time over here enjoying your blog. I love this artwork!

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  22. First off, I voted for your blog yesterday! Secondly, that painting is amazing! Great job :)

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  23. Oh wow! This makes such a dramatic statement with such simplicity. I love it.

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  24. Oh, j'adore! Can you make me one?

    I would like mine to look as though it's been soaking in espresso from the bottom up. In return, I offer . . my undying affection?

    Oh, heck. You pretty much have that.

    [you have my vote;)]

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  25. Looks awesome! I recently bought a couple canvases to create some paintings for our house. Thanks for the your vote! You just got mine (no. 32)!

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  26. You have styled the painting very nicely, match made in heaven!

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  27. you made the canvas look so awesome...the painting has an Ikat look..and is so cool

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  28. That looks great! So simple, yet so striking. Love it!

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  29. Beautiful. I love the contrast of the bright, bold pillow in front of it.

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  30. I love it! I have a canvas with no purpose at the moment and this might be the perfect thing! Thanks for sharing.

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  31. Love this painting! Thanks for the tutorial- might have to try this out!

    Good luck with the Homies! You definitely deserve some credit- you have a great blog and you really do take beautiful photos. Well done!

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  32. You make it look so easy! But I know when (if) I attempt this, it'll look like a child's finger painting... haha :P

    I love your vignette, btw. :)

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  33. I love this Tanya! You make painting look so easy :)

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  34. Um yea..... this is really good. great job!

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  35. Love this painting! It's clean, simple, and stunning in your space!

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  36. This looks really great. I have 14 blank canvases hanging on my gallery wall at the moment... maybe I'll actually try to do a painting!

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  37. Beautiful, striking, so simple and so classy :) I'm pinning your art! I wandered over from Hi Sugarplum's Pinterest Challenge. Hi!

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  38. Great project...this art is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing and linking up!

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  39. Tanya, this is so gorgeous. I'm intimidated by the painterly arts, but this might help me try it out!

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  40. oooooh this is gorgeous!! I want to do one! minus the centipede - UGH...one showed up in my BATHROOM the other day and I had a coniption fit, but it was 6:50am and I couldn't act fast enough and it slithered away!! I was scared for my whole shower. eww. but back to the pretty. I like your art. well done you!

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    1. Oh gosh, that is horrifying! I had one run at me one day when I was watching TV. I squashed it, but it lived and darted under the sofa. I moved the sofa and couldn't find it. I didn't watch TV for three days. I figured if he wanted the living room that bad, he could have it. Don't know what I'd do if one took over the bathroom . . .

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  41. Pinning it! I'm so happy Brooklyn Limestone featured this I think I *might* be able to actually do it and have it turn out nicely!

    Jessica
    stayathomeista.com

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    1. Hi Jessica! So glad you like it. I guarantee you can do this! If not, I promise to paint one for you ;) That's the Dans le Townhouse guarantee.

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  42. This is gorgeous! Now I can't remember how I found your blog (via Centsational Girl maybe? Brooklyn Limestone?) but it was definitely the image of this painting that hooked me. I love it. And you make it seem so approachable. Could I really? Dare I? I've got the supplies on hand, so we'll see...Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. Thanks so much for your comment! The project was featured on Brooklyn Limestone and I'm so happy you came over. Definitely try it!! I hope you share photos of your version :)

      Good luck!!!

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  43. What a great piece! How big is the canvas? Just trying to get a good judge of its size

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    1. The canvas is 30"x40" and we added a 1/2" frame. So it is a mid-size piece. It is pretty much the largest canvas that can fit comfortably into our hatchback, so that's the logic behind choosing this size ;)

      Hope that helps!

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  44. Great-looking project! Love it! (I hate those damn centipedes too -- we have really gross furry-looking ones. One of the very few bugs that actually grosses me out. Had to kill one that got onto my ceiling once!)

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    1. Thanks!!

      Oh gosh, when they end up on the ceiling I am paranoid of one diving onto me. I know that's their plan.

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  45. Awesome piece! Do I see other colors in there?

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    1. Good eye! The tiniest bit of off-white and a smidge of teal. I am the WORST at cleaning my brushes and will often work on a few paintings at a time, forgetting to clean in between. I left it because it added a bit more depth in real life. A happy accident!

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  46. Where did you find such a fabulous pillow?

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    1. My Mom & I made it from fabric she bought years and years and years ago. In high school I had a skirt of the same print!

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    2. I'm so jealous! I've been having a difficult time finding fun, colorful pillows lately. I just stumbled upon your blog today because of craftgawker, I love it! You have such a neat style.

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    3. Thanks! I appreciate the compliment. Sorry I can't be more help with the fabric. I think my Mom has had it since the 70s!

      I've seen folks do awesome DIY pillows with thrifted clothes from the 60s and 70s. The patterns are just wild enough, and definitely won't look like everyone else's pillows. Silk scarves might be another neat option. Or try etsy for vintage fabric by the bolt.

      Good luck with your search!

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  47. I love this! I'm definitely going to try this out. I stumbled upon your blog and have taken a look around and you have a beautiful home!

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  48. If you want to make your home really look really beautiful , paintings are the best way to do it believe home looks very well decorated . If you are looking to find Oil Paintings Reproductions at very economical price or cheap rates, you must visit wahooart.com

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  49. What a cool look. I would love one in navy & white! Thank you for sharing with us.

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  50. This is so striking, I just have to try it someday. Thanks a million for the inspiration!

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  51. Could you tell me where the side table is from? I LOVE it!

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    1. Hi Meredith, I'm so sorry to disappoint: the table is from a local flea market and, to boot, it looks to have been handmade because the wood was signed and dated on the bottom in a handmade-ish way. Can I brag and say it was only $20?

      HOWEVER, Brooke Batchelor Designs has some tables with a similar feel (but the added bonus of great hair pin legs): http://brookebatchelordesign.com/

      Or you might want to try a local antique or thrift shop for something similar. The flea market seller had painted the legs matte black and refinished the top, so be open to something with room for a little DIY love. Good luck!! :)

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    2. Awesome! Will do. Thanks!! DIYing the painting this eve. Thanks for the ideas!

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    3. I'm so excited!! I'd be over the moon if you could send a photo (or link) when it's done?? Have fun!!

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  52. Love this! It's so simple to make a striking piece of canvas art, even for the non-painter. And fun, too :)

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  53. Really clean, simple. I do something similar using water and I call it "drip art." I'd be happy to share and you might think its cool.

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  54. I saw this on a linky party today. Did you know you were the inspiration behind One Ten Plus Two's paintings? I liked them a lot and was tickled to find she was inspired by you!

    Alyssa
    myclevernest.com

    http://www.onetenplustwo.com/diy-diptych-in-navy-orange-gold/

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    1. Hi Alyssa! Thanks so much for letting me know!! I did already know and had even featured her painting here awhile back, because I was pretty flattered she was inspired by my knock-off. But I really appreciate you letting me know :D

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  55. Do you think it would look good with layers? For example, I would start with a light pink and cover most of it or all of it, then I go to darker shades of pink to red? Does that make sense?

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    1. Yes, that makes total sense!! And I love that idea - it would have a cool ombre feel. To keep the crispness, let the light pink layer dry, then apply some in a darker shade, let it dry and then do the red. This will ensure the rougher brush strokes. But you could also keep the paint a bit wetter so the colours bleed together a bit more and would look more "flowy" (not a technical term, lol). The nice thing about acrylic paint is that it is forgiving, so there's no need to worry about being committed - I've tweaked and re-done paintings until I've been happy with them. When you tackle your painting, I'd love to see photos of the finished piece (and feature it on DLT)!! Good luck and have fun :)

      P.S. Here's a reader's gold and navy & gold and red versions: http://dans-le-townhouse.blogspot.hu/2012/05/reader-projects-art-inspired-by-my-diy.html

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  56. hi am sherif i will like to work with you .am an artist and i know you will like my way of painting

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    1. Hello Sherif, your paintings are very striking. You're very talented!

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  57. WOW! What a striking painting! I am not really a painter at all, but i can't wait to try my hand at creating something like this!

    Janie
    ohsweetjane.com

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    1. Thank you! I've had a number of readers try this and theirs have all turned out beautifully. It's so easy, I promise!

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  58. I used this idea for my own abstract art and absolutely loved the outcome! I actually spray painted the canvas I used gold first and then used leftover paint we had laying around (a chalky blue and black) to cover it up so that just a little bit peeks through where the two colors come together. I'm thrilled with the finished product and even my husband, who has absolutely no artistic sense, said he really likes it. I couldn't believe how easy it was to make and how great it looked. Thank you for the idea!

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    1. Your painting sounds gorgeous - I love that you added a gold background. That must look so glam!! I'm so, so happy that this idea was helpful to you. And a thumbs up from the hubby is worth its weight in gold!

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