DIY Abstract Landscape Art

I did a thing.  YouTube helped me, once again.  Specifically, Petra and her video on how to paint a colorful landscape helped me.  She's awesome, and she's German, and I'm mostly German.  So.  Awesome.  

You see, a while back I spent many moments scheming about what I could fill the blank wall in the breakfast nook with.  (Pssst, it's the #letsroomtogether space, hence why it's on the brain.)  For awhile, I was set on hanging a shelf up high and filling it with cascading plants.  That might still happen in the future but it happened that I had a big 'ole frame we hadn't hung yet and I've really been loving big art lately (a long lately).  So...

Whoop, up it went.  It stands out but it doesn't right?...obviously, because it's solid white.  I call it my "White Rabbit in a Snowstorm".  Ha!  I found the frame at a thrift store a few years ago which was framing a big foam board onto which is professionally glued, a big poster.  I stuck a poster of my own inside the frame but the foam board that came with the frame looked like this:

But when I got the itch to hang it on this blank wall, Gianna helped me paint over that whole desert/mountain scene with two coats of white primer.  

This is after one coat.

And then I hung it on the wall and didn't touch it for months.  It wasn't my intention to let that rabbit hang out in that snow for so long but you know, life.  Sometimes I just feels good to get something on the wall, even if it doesn't necessarily have what you want inside it yet.  Or is that just me?  

Somewhere within those few months though, I stumbled upon Petra's video and mentally filed it away...until last week.

I grabbed my painting gear and set up shop in the breakfast nook where I had the kitchen counter as a workspace, right next to me.  I used these three brushes...

plus an assortment of latex paint samples I've got on hand and some acrylics.  I bought nothing for this little project.  *high five*  Using some foam plates and a plastic spoon, I scooped/squeezed a little bit of paint out of each container onto the plates.  I used them like watercolors - I had a small tub of water that I mixed into the paint as I went, making it pretty watery.  I also used an easel a (very talented artist) friend gave me a couple of years ago that I hadn't yet used (thank you Jesse!).  I felt so legit.  Haha!

Before I started, I watched Petra's video once all the way through just so I had a good idea of the steps she takes.  Then I started.  I picked colors as I went but it would probably have been a great idea to pick them out before because there was much hesitation involved that wouldn't have been with more planning.

First, I painted the top 2/3 in colors I wanted my sky to be - white clouds with some light gray mixed in and a color very similar to the muted minty-green of the frame (Oyster Bay by Sherwin-Williams - I have lots leftover from the kids' room).  I felt like that would help tie the frame in and not like it didn't belong to this painting.  

I didn't paint the whole board like Petra because I knew the bottom would just get painted over however, I wish I would have now seeing the white spots that peek through there.  It's ok but but I think that painting the bottom would have helped the bottom have more depth than it does.  Lesson learned.

After that, I pretty much tried to follow along with her instruction.  I veered off a little here and there because I had no clue what I was doing there's no way to follow an abstract 100% but in the end, I've got my own piece.

Because I was using a foam board painted over with primer plus water color, my paint dripped, a lot.  (Don't worry, I was so worried about our 80's linoleum that I laid down an old sheet before I started.)

Somewhere along the lines, my left horizon started getting higher than my right, opposite of Petra's and so I made a mental note to paint opposite of what she was doing but I kept forgetting as I watched and so I got lost a little bit in my own painting.  It was challenging for me to have to improvise but also just a little stressful.

I do NOT have any natural painting skills and I really want to state that.  This wasn't an easy process for me.  It was fun to paint but it wasn't necessarily relaxing.  I was nervous almost the entire time, wondering if what I was painting at each moment was going to look ok.  And really, I knew that if it didn't turn out so hott, I could always prime it again and start over but still.  However, I do feel strongly that you really can't mess up an abstract which is why I chose to paint one in the first place.  My mom was an incredible artist who could whip up a portrait in an hour but I didn't not inherit those skills so abstract is where I belong as far as DIY art is concerned.  ;)

Alright, enough blabbing about the process.  Want to see how it turned out?  

Of course you do!!  (AND p to the s, you can get one of your very own below!!)   

It makes the breakfast nook look very ready for Spring.  

Like I said above, I do not have an ounce of natural painting talent but I'm really good at following directions and a pretty quick learner.  Anyone could do this...including you!  If there's even an inkling of a notion to paint some art to go up on one of your walls, no matter how big the wall or how small that little piece of art is, I say go for it!!!  Paint is pretty cheap and if you don't like where it's going, you can always keep on layering paint until you get more of what you're going for or you can thank goodness for primer, start over and begin again.  And let me tell you, it's 1000 times more satisfying to hang something YOU created on your wall than picking up a generic (even though some of them are so pretty!) piece of printed art from Target.  Not only that but if you're like me and you like to switch things up fairly often, it's really convenient to just take down the "old" and paint something new.  It doesn't cost much and you'll never lack originality. 

Once I got started looking for tutorials and demonstrations, I fell into a small rabbit hole.  There is apparently a whole boulevard of YouTube laden with painting videos of this sort.  The Danish Painter's channel is chock full of tutorials and her stuff is G O O D.  Also, there's a whole slew of abstract art courses out there courtesy of Artify!  It's on my to-do list to sign up!
As far as supplies, your dining room table covered in an old sheet would work just fine but if you want to get drippy, here's* a simple easel and here's* a good set of different paint brushes.

Last but not least, I turned this painting of mine into a digital print SO if you've always wanted something made by me on your wall (HA!...totally joking), now you can have it.  I stuck it in my Etsy shop and the price right now, specifically for you guys, the best blog readers ever, is a whopping $2.  (I'll probably raise the price within the next week but I want to treat y'all before I do because you're so awesome.)  So, go grab one, print it out at whatever size you want, hang it up, and say a prayer for me every time you see it.  ;)  If you do print and hang it, I'd love to see.  Please email me or tag me on social media!

I hope you have a fantastic week.  Maybe it'll include a little time to paint your own work of art.  ;)  

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*These links are affiliate links which means that, if you click over and/or make a purchase through the link, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.  I am an Amazon affiliate and also use other affiliate programs to link to products.  All of these links will lead you to things we actually paid for or that are similar to the item we paid for in case ours is thrifted/sold out/secondhand.  This extra money helps us with the costs of running the blog and buying paint.  ;)  Thank you for your support and for fueling our love to share all things DIY!



  1. Wow! Your painting looks beautiful, I can’t believe you just followed a YouTube tutorial and did that with leftover house paint.

    1. It probably speaks to the fact that I really should purge my house paint collection. Haha! I've got a lot more sample pots than I need.

  2. If I attempt my own painting and fail, will you come and rescue it??? Yours looks great!

    1. Very funny. I highly doubt you would need any rescuing. But, we could have a paint party sometime!!