Mrs. Mix-A-Lot

Abstract art.  Anybody can do it.  Seriously.  You can even get all fancy by mixing colors and adding some gold leaf like I did.  I found this tutorial by Virginia at Live Love DIY and didn’t even wait until naptime to start.  Turns out, if I work on top of the (unheated) stove, I can get a lot done without little hands seeking and destroying.  :) 

diy abstract art

For this art project, I used two 11 x 14 inch canvases that I bought at Hobby Lobby (it was a two-pack on sale for $7.99).  I also used paint and brushes that I had laying around at home.  First, I dumped some paint directly from the pot onto one side of each canvas (I was going for a half-sided look).
photo 1 (6)

Then, I painted about 1/3 of one side of each canvas by starting at one edge and pulling the paint down in lines.  I didn’t use sweeping, back-and-forth motions, but just kept brushing down down down all the way across the side of the canvas.  Also, painting down towards the middle of the canvas vs. from middle to end gave me an unfinished edge where the paint ended, which is what I was going for.
  photo 2 (17)
Since I was going to add some gold leaf and more color, I didn’t drag the paint down all they way to where I wanted it which was about halfway across the canvas.  I figured I’d use more gold paint when I mixed it with the other colors I wanted to use so I’d finish pulling it down then.

So, when the gold paint was dry (I waited about six hours), I grabbed a glue stick and just smudged it onto my gold paint in random areas
photo 3
[The purple spots are glue – I used the Elmer’s glue stick that goes on purple and dries clear.]

Then I grabbed a sheet of gold leaf and laid it over the glue spots, patting it down lightly to make sure it was stuck for good.
photo 4 (3)
I waited another six or so hours until I was sure the glue was dry, held the canvases over our big trash can, and brushed off the excess, loose gold leaf with my fingers.

Next up came more paint.  I pulled a few colors out of the Last Supper to use on my painting – gray acrylic, a coral-red latex, light blue latex, and white acrylic – and I also grabbed the gold to layer onto the existing gold and extend the end of my paint line to about halfway down the canvas.

I waited until naptime to do this part to make sure I wouldn’t have to stop after I had started and to add a little more calm to the whole idea, I grabbed the Moscato.  Wining and dining painting.  The way to go.  :)

First I added more gold.  Then I just put random spots of color onto the canvas (I did one half of each canvas at a time to ensure I had time to mess around with the paint before it dried but I think I probably could’ve just done the entire thing at once) and brushed each dot into a big splotch (abstract talk, I guess?), trying to also mix it in a tad with the still-wet gold paint.
 photo 1 (10)

I brushed in one color at a time and wiped my brush off onto a dry paper towel between each color.
photo 2 (18)
I tried to brush color around each gold leaf spot just so the gold leaf looked more incorporated into the painting…if that makes any sense at all. 

I hung them before the were dry (rebel!) and that was that! IMG_5795


So, have you ever tried your hand at abstract art?  Maybe you have a five-year-old that has because, like I said, anyone can do it.  :)

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I’ll be back early next week to drag this collage project out into one more DIY and then I promise it’s enough talk of it.  We’re in the middle of painting our living room, entry, and hallway (again) so there will be lots to share and show on that soon!  TGIF!


  1. So my husband and I are in the process of buying our first home, and I'm literally going to copy this ENTIRE WALL. LOVE IT SO MUCH!

    1. Yay!!! That makes my day! Congrats on buying your first home, wherever you are in the process! It's so much fun!!!! :)