Forget spending top dollar on a fancy piece of art… creating your own custom artwork is easy! I’ll walk you through each step of painting this ikat-inspired canvas that can be personalized with your favorite colors.
Now that a majority of the projects in my office have been finished (minus a giant cabinet that will be painted once the weather isn’t sub-zero), I’m having fun playing around with some finishing touches. All the walls have been painted white (best decision EVER!), which keeps the room feeling light, bright, and airy, but I do need to add some artwork to the walls to make it feel more like a decorated office vs. an insane asylum (as Jeremy so lovingly likes to call it).
As I mentioned the other day, my original vision for this space was modern and glam, but as all the puzzle pieces started falling into place, I realized the room was lacking that comfort and coziness that I love about rustic-style decor. The room was screaming, “I need a little shabby-chic up in here, Liz!” When a room speaks… you must listen.
So I’m making a few changes here and there… you’ll see more of them coming in the next few weeks. But today I want to show you what happened when I decided to play “artist” for a day. If I’m being totally honest, I was a little intimidated trying to create some super cool painting to go on my wall… art was NOT my strong suit back in my brace-face middle school days. But I managed to whip this ikat-inspired painting out in an afternoon, and I have step-by-step photos to show you exactly what I did.
- acrylic paint (I used The Fine Touch acrylic paint from Hobby Lobby)
- liquid gold leaf (like this one from Plaid)
- paint brush
To mimic the look of ikat, I started by very lightly drawing a large diamond pattern on the canvas in pencil. It doesn’t have to be perfect… this just gives you a guide to start your painting.
For my painting, I decided to go with 4 layers of color: light gray, dark gray, pink, and gold. I used a tube of black and white acrylic paint to custom mix my grays and used the liquid gold leaf for a bright, shiny, reflective gold layer. As far as painting tools go… look no further than your kitchen! I grabbed some cheap-o paper plates and used a rubber spatula to mix my paint colors. Keepin’ it classy up in here.
This painting is all about layering, so it’s done in 4 different stages. For my first layer, I chose the light gray. I wanted the painting to be a little more abstract than picture-perfect, so I painted the inside of the diamonds solid, then feathered some paint outside the edges to give it a messy look. I also made sure to feather a bit of paint around the sides of the canvas since I don’t plan on framing the piece. Again, do not stress over perfection! The messier it is, the better it looks.
I want the colors to layer, not blend together, so allowing a good amount of dry time in between layers is key. The first layer dried pretty quickly, but once you start stacking more and more paint, each layer will require a longer drying time.
For the next layer, I used dark gray. Same technique as before, just layering the dark gray over the light gray in a slightly smaller diamond shape.
Next, the pink.
Then for the last layer, I switched to the liquid gold leaf. This stuff is AWESOME with a capital A! I used a slightly smaller paint brush this time and painted on the gold leaf in the same manner as the previous layers.
I could hardly wait for my masterpiece to dry before hanging it on this wall in my office!
I love how it ties together the pink flowers in my favorite Society6 pillow and the black base of my reading chair.
As you paint on all the different layers, you start getting these little lines and ridges of paint built up that give the painting depth and dimension. You can’t get that from some cheap art replication from a big box store! And when the sun hits that shiny gold leaf paint… pure gorgeousness, my friends. I’m calling this project a success!
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS!
So tell me, what do YOU think of the painting? Do you like the ikat look? What colors would you use? Do you want to see more do-it-yourself art ideas like this? I’d love to hear your feedback!
Are you making this project? I’d LOVE to see it! Post a photo of your creation on Instagram and use the hashtag #MyLGWProject. It may just get featured!