Monday, March 11, 2013

DIY: Pollock Inspired Painting

I've been meaning to fill up some of the empty wall space in my room with a DIY painting but winter put a damper on my plans...until this weekend!  The weather was amazing so I decided to hit up my local art store to pick up some supplies.  I'm by no means a painter (I'm an accountant for Pete's sake!) so if I can do it - anyone can.  Seriously.  This is a super fast project and a bajillion times cheaper  (that's my official numerical accountant talk here) than buying a "real" painting or a large print at somewhere like Ikea.

I picked up a few brushes, some acrylic paints and a canvas board - I wanted something big since I literally have nothing on my walls and opted for a 24x36 canvas.  My room is pretty monocromatic in general (white, grey, brown and a bit of blue) so I wanted to pick all of that up in the color palate I was using.   
Since the weather was so amazing - I decided to paint on my patio to minimize cleanup (this worked amazingly well until I had the bright idea of adding more to the painting inside at night while buzzed on tequila - but more on that later).  Live and learn!
To start, I painted the entire canvas black - but you can leave it white, paint it another color or do whatever you like.  This is seriously one of the most forgiving styles of painting, so literally anything goes.  
After painting the canvas black, I thought it was bit too black and harsh so I decided to paint a white line while the black paint was not still wet and smudge it to soften the black.  Once that was done, I was all set to throw some paint down - literally.
I started by taking the paint bottles and creating lines by squeezing the paint bottle directly on the canvas in a swift motion.  There's not much thought involved but to make the lines fluid and even you have to go fairly quickly - almost like throwing a baseball (paint ended up on the floor but hey - that's half the fun).  If I had thought about it beforehand I would have laid down some newspaper or cardboard to catch the mess but I didn't.  Acrylic is one of those paints that super to easy to clean as long as it's not dry so no harm done! 
To make dots, I just held the paint bottle a couple feet off the canvas and let the paint fall, moving all around the canvas.  To make smaller flecks, I applied the paint to a brush and flicked it around the canvas.   This works great with two colors applied at the same time on the same brush and creates a swirl effect within the paint blob.  I highly recommend this technique as it is very professional.
Here's what I ended up with initially.  I was happy with the result so I packed up and headed inside and put the painting down flat to dry.  When transporting your wet painting just try to keep it level so that the paint doesn't run.  Set it down somewhere flat and let it dry overnight or until it's fully dried (it might take longer than a day depending on how much paint you apply.
After a couple hours and some tequila, I went to look at the painting and while I liked how it outside,  I though it was lacking indoors,  maybe because of the lower light or bare walls.  I decided I wanted more stuff on it so that's what I did - I kept going splashing and splooging paint in my room with the painting resting on my desk.  This seemed like a good idea at the time until I looked up and saw blue, gold and white paint splattered over my wall.  An ounce of prevention will save you time in the end (i.e. scrubbing paint off the wall is a surefire buzz killer).  At the end of the day, this is what I ended up with and I love it - mess and all.
 There's something incredibly rewarding about creating something with your own hands.  You get a sense of accomplishment and pride (it's kinda like scoring big at a sample sale - but different and better).  Anyways, I love the result and it's just what my room needed.  I couldn't be happier - minus the residual blue streaks I couldn't get off my wall due to my impaired judgement (damn you Don Julio).  If you want an easy way to spruce up your home this is a super easy, fast and seriously fun project that will leave you feeling like a kid again.

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