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Amazing DIY Artist Helps Make Art Easy For The Rest Of Us

Tayna, DIY artist and blogger at Dans Le Lakehouse, makes amazing artwork and crafts easy enough for all of us just starting out on the crafting scene.

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1. Abstract monochromatic painting

Tanya / Via danslelakehouse.com

This lovely artwork was created by Tanya herself. Her instructions?

"I started with a blank white canvas. I had originally painted it a shade of cream for another (abandoned) project, so I painted over it with white. Because paint is so expensive I cheated and used primer. It actually worked really 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.

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

I [then repeatedly] 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.

You could easily create this DIY art in other colours or by using gold leaf instead of paint."

Viola. Art.

2. Colorfully square abstracts

Tanya / Via danslelakehouse.com

After having tried the technique before, Tanya stated that,

"This is the same method I used originally: with acrylic paints I painted some random, colourful squares in different colours and then, once they had dried a touch, so as not to smear the paint around, I painted over them in white. Then I layered in some pastel shades to soften the look. The result is an abstract with colour peaking through shades of white.

I worked and I fiddled. I did the old step back, paintbrush between my teeth and my head cocked to one side, with a really pompous expression. The kind that requires a black beret. I also covered myself in paint in the process. I continued fussing until I liked the finish product. The same process unfolded with another of the three paintings.

The trick is to apply the paint thinly, with a large, very dry brush. This way the paint won't drip and will dry quickly so the paint can be layered easily. I used artist's acrylic (not craft paint) because the colours are more saturated and the quality is better. I don't buy the most expensive kind, though. I buy whatever is between kid's acrylic paint and professional grade (I switch brands and stores)."

3. Rothko inspired cardboard art

Out of all the others, this one is the most swift and inexpensive (but still completely trendy looking.)

"I recently made some really inexpensive DIY abstract art, using cardboard instead of canvases and reusing old wooden frames. Seriously, this cost only a couple of bucks to make but it looks so cute!

First, I gave each frame a coat of primer...Then I applied two, thin coats of leftover pale turquoise paint, using a paintbrush. ... I snagged some very stiff (and clean) cardboard from Costco during a grocery trip (nobody even looked twice at me dragging around a huge 4 foot square sheet of cardboard). I used acrylic paints I had on hand from other projects.

Hubby cut my cardboard to fit the frames, and then I applied a base layer of paint. I mixed up a pale pink for the larger one and a pale emerald green for the smaller pair. I set them aside to dry. Next, I added a few bands of colour to each, keeping my brush strokes moving horizontally and rather loose (no measuring or taping!) I thought I was done, but they looked a little too bland - a little too pastel. So I added a bright cranberry stripe to the largest one and some rich ochre to the other two. Much better! Contrast is key here.

To put them in the frames, we positioned them in place and then stapled into the frame, parallel to the cardboard, so instead of piercing the cardboard, each staple runs alongside it, holding it in place. We used this technique for my framed bakelite brooches also.

I am totally surprised by how much I love these. I thought they would look cheesy, but they are actually quite cute. The matte texture and neutral colour of the cardboard really makes the pale colours POP - more than they seem to on white canvas."

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