Let’s reach back to our five-year-old selves and pull out those finger painting skillz, shall we? Not only will they come in handy for this tutorial but as it turns out, getting your hands dirty with pretty colors can be really stress-relieving…not that I would know about stress. My life is all butterflies and roses…and tantrums and meltdowns and toddler woes 58% of the time.
The art I painted and hung above Sebastian’s crib is 80% finger painted and 20% brushed.
It was so easy to do that even if you’ve already taken once glance at it and determined that “no, you can’t do that”, you can. Yes, you can.
But before tell you how you can, let me remind you (or tell you in case you didn’t see this post) that I bought this green metal frame at a local thrift store for 50 cents. It had a large piece of discolored foam board fitted inside and so I just painted right onto that foam board instead of buying a new large piece of paper/board/whatever. The jewel green color is a latex paint (Alexandrite by Sherwin Williams for Lowe’s) and the rest of the colors are acrylics, some of which I already had and some that I purchased at Hobby Lobby. The acrylic colors I used were black, white, mint, gray, and a yellowy-mustard color.
So first, just for a little interest to peek through under my finger painting, I grabbed some black white acrylic paint and painted b&w stripes in a few random places across the board. I painted the black stripes first…
…and then added the white ones in between once the black paint was dry. After I was done with the white I had a good amount of white paint left on the plate I was using so I just dumped it onto the board and smeared it around a little with my hands.
At the same time as I was painting this, my cousin Faith was at my house painting a fabric “S” for Sebastian’s room and she had just finished so I grabbed the paint she had leftover from painting that and smeared it around the board too.
Then I let all that paint dry.
During the next free naptime, I grabbed all of the colors minus black. Over the top of the board, making sure not to go over the stripes, I squirted different colors one-by-one in random places all over.
(Except I spooned on the green latex since it came from a test pot. Technicalities folks.)
And then I just smeared all those colors together. The key is not smearing too much that the colors blend to make a totally different color but just blending so that they streak together. Also, make sure you have enough paint squirted onto the surface of whatever you’re painting so that you’re not having to spread paint around too much to cover. The more paint, the better. And also, the more paint, the more texture which is a great addition!
As I was smearing, I made sure to not smear completely over the stripes I had painted. I just smeared around them but over the edges so that they didn’t sit on an island of sorts – stripes surrounded by blank foam board surrounded by a ring of paint. Make sense? I just wanted them to peek through.
The painting looked really cool after I was done smearing and the plan was to leave it that way but of course, I tweaked it just a little more by going in with each color and a brush and added some dots around the piece. I literally dipped the brush in whatever color I was using and dabbed it randomly around the painting. I also added a few smears of black in the end.
Art definitely isn’t my strong suit but I think this one turned out pretty good, no?
And considering I only paid about $5 from start to finish (most of that went to paint of which I used not even half of each color supply) it looks even better.
So, any painters out there? Maybe some wanna be painters like me? Abstract art is the way to go! If you make a mistake, it just looks like you meant to! I wish falling on your face in public was more like that…like “oops” you totally meant to do that. “I just needed a quick thrill to wake me up. No big deal.” Or forgetting to zip it up below the belt. Wearing no-zip maternity paints totally took my zip-it-up habit and tossed it right out the nursery window.
And you wonder why I like long shirts…
. . .