Easiest ever DIY Wall Art….

Since we moved at the end of August we’ve been busy painting and decorating. We are finally at the stage where we can start with the fun part. Pulling room schemes together with accessories, soft furnishings and…..art! At the moment we’re focussing on the lounge. It’s evolving as a palette of greys, plums, mauves and neutrals….

For some time we have been looking for some artwork to go in these three frames that we both liked and that complements our new room scheme. Frustrated with fruitless searching, and unable to look at a bare wall for much longer we went down the DIY route as a temporary fix, and this was the result….

 I can draw ok. But not to the standard of what I would call “art” and not to a level that I would have on display in my home! What I can do….and what anyone can do…is lay down a few colour and ink washes in complimentary colours and flick some ink & paint around! And hopefully what you end up with are some interesting effects, tones and textures that, once framed, chime perfectly with your room scheme (because you get to select your colours) and are “unique to you” abstract pieces of wall art! Well…art may be a stretch…but as an experiment…I’m pleasantly surprised at the results…and more than happy to live with this trio on our wall until we can find a more permanent solution.

So I thought I’d share how easy this is to do! I started by covering the floor in the kitchen. Popped the radio on and closed the door. This can get messy!

I laid out 3 sheets of A2 200gsm textured paper (from a Daler Rowney art pad) on the floor side by side, and using a normal decorators paintbrush, laid down a wash of plain water across all 3. You could wet them completely or a bit more randomly. The colour/ink washes you lay down in the next stage will have differing effects on wet or dry paper. Experiment!

 I used watered down writing ink for the grey washes and used Elliott’s kiddo paint to mix a mauve wash. Again, watered down and all brushed randomly onto the wetted paper using, of all things, a pastry brush, lol! Ignore the proper paintbrushes in the pic. Didn’t end up using them. Don’t need ’em!
I tried to treat the 3 sheets as one big sheet, making some brush strokes cross over from one sheet to the next. So that once framed individually they would look like they were meant to sit together. I used scrunched up kitchen towel to lift the colour in random places and create a variation in textures to the colour washes. I then dropped undiluted ink in spots/droplets across all 3 sheets. The ink will naturally “bleed” around the edges on wet paper and give a softer effect. Then using a drinking straw I adopted a pre school technique (!) and blew the ink across the pages to get the spidery effect…told you this was easy!

Then the REALLY messy part. Using a paintbrush wetted with watered down ink and paint alternately, flick across all three sheets of paper. Random. Random. Random!

Allow to dry…pop in a frame…voila!  No more bare wall taunting you with it’s bareness!

Top tips? Don’t think about it too much. Be random. Reserve judgement until it goes in the frame. Oh, and enjoy!

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  1. Maria November 9, 2014

    They look brilliant – love them! I don’t see any reason why they can’t be the permanent solution, they look so good!
    Maria x

    • Portia Lawrie November 9, 2014

      They are growing on me actually Maria! I’m not in a rush now to find any artwork now, put it that way! 🙂

  2. Nina November 9, 2014

    Wow, this is great. Thank you so much for sharing!
    Greetings from austria, nina

  3. Ursula Connelly November 9, 2014

    Really effective, I like them!!

  4. Andrea Moran November 9, 2014

    WOW !

  5. Anonymous November 10, 2014

    We have done our lounge in grey, neutrals & plums also. Can you do me a set of art work also please? Love it, Annie

  6. batwidow November 11, 2014

    What a brilliant solution! I must remember this! Thanks for the idea and top tips.

  7. Jenny November 11, 2015

    Did you have any problems with the paper warping and not being flat when it dried?

    • portia November 11, 2015

      A little Jenny. But not massively as I was careful not to over wet it. If it’s something that bothers you it can be remedied by using a good quality watercolour paper and pre stretching it before painting.


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