Here’s a simple DIY art project to take on this weekend!
After a trip to see the Jeff Koons: A Retrospective exhibit at the Whitney Museum of American Art, I was inspired to pick my painting passion back up. With several weddings and baby showers on the calendar, I thought I’d put my artistic skills to good use and make some beautiful artwork for those I love. I maximized my art budget at Michael’s and did a little creative recon before I started to paint.
The first project I’ve taken on is painting for a friend’s wedding in October. She and her fiancé recently purchased a new home and I thought some artwork would be the perfect gift to celebrate. I was inspired by Yao Cheng‘s Triangle Dot Pattern (see above) but decided to put my own spin on the design. I imagined this pattern painted on top of a metallic gold canvas to give it some depth. The results were beautiful!
Here’s What You’ll Need:
- 1 Gallery Wrapped Traditional Canvas – I chose a 16 x 20 canvas size
- 1 can of Gold Spray Paint – I like Rust-Oleum’s Specialty Metallic in Metallic Gold
- Painters Tape – I used a thickness of 3/4 of an inch
- Paint Brushes – Rounded
- Acrylic Paint – You can splurge on the expensive stuff but since I was making dots, I opted for the value option.
- Portable Fan or Hairdryer – for speeding up the drying process
- Spray the blank canvas with the gold spray paint in a well ventilated area. I sprayed 4 layers of paint – drying each layer for 5 minutes before applying the next coat.
- Let the canvas dry overnight – I wanted to make sure the gold paint was set before I started to put tape and paint on top of it.
- Once the canvas is completely dry, start to measure and lay out your design with painters tape.
- Once you’ve laid out your design – paint away!
Here’s how I measured and taped the canvas. Apologies if it’s wordy. For me, it was less about perfection and more about trial and error. Just run with it!
- I first separated the canvas horizontally. I chose a vertical orientation which is 20 inches tall. I made 5 horizontal rows at 4 inches tall. I measured from the top of the canvas down, measuring from the top of the blue tape. I always mark which edge I measure from with a tiny black arrow (made with a sharpie)
- I then laid out the vertical columns which required a bit more planning and thought. Since I would have 5 complete triangles vertically (5 rows, 5 triangles) – I wanted to have 5 vertical columns. The canvas was 16 inches wide, which meant my columns where approx. 3.2 inches wide give or take – it’s better when it’s imperfect. The middle picture reflects the outcome of Step 1 and 2.
- After referencing my inspiration design, Yao Cheng‘s Triangle Dot Pattern, I realized that while I had accounted for an equal amount of space all over the canvas, I hadn’t accounted for the triangle pattern. Oops. Warning, the next part was rather tedious but worth the patience and effort.
- Realizing that I needed to lay out the triangle shapes, I measured a strip of blue tape 5 inches long (the measurement of the row height). I then cut that strip into multiple strips – which you can see in the picture to the far right. I didn’t have a set size (see from the picture below) – not every strip was straight or the same width. These stripes would make the gold “borders” separating the triangles.
- I started from the top left hand corner to the edge of the first vertical blue strip. In the middle of that distance, I placed a black dot on the horizontal blue strip below. I then carefully laid out the first triangle shape. I contented to do this for the entire piece – gently removing the vertical stripes as I went along. I reused the tape to make the smaller triangle border stripes.
- I applied the same process to the horizontal strips – I carefully removed the longer pieces and replaced them with shorter, thinner strips to make the border. I recommend putting on a movie while you do this – I watched Center Stage (a guilty pleasure of mine).
- Once I laid out the entire canvas, I celebrated. I then painted from top to bottom, left to right. I would paint 5 triangles in and take a break. I also enlisted the help of a fan to help the drying process along – you could easily use a hairdryer as well. As a row of triangles dried, I carefully removed the painters tape.
- Some of the tape peeled off a dot or two, which was easily fixed by retouching the canvas once that area was dried. I actually waited until the entire canvas was painted and everything had dried completely.
Tah-dah! The way this painting reflects light is magical.
The gold spray paint really added depth to the design.
Michael’s had a 60% off custom framing coupon that I just couldn’t pass up. It’s a two-week turnaround and I’m anxiously awaiting the results. Once it’s finished being framed, I’ll post a picture for everyone to see. I hope my friend and her fiancé like this painting as much as I do!