· French Country,Decorating,DIY,BOOK 3

Canvas Artwork

Have you ever wished for large pieces of canvas artwork on your walls without having to pay the hefty price tags on them? I feel your pain because there's been many that I've loved.

One type of wall art that I especially love is called "color washing". This is a simple process using paint, water and a large paint brush.

Some color washing involves elements such as flowers painted into the artwork.

Color washing can be done with multiple colors laid down onto the paper in a geometric design.

Sometimes the design elements, like flowers are done with much less water so they become more prevalent in the artwork.

Again, this is very simple and actually very relaxing.

Color Washing Artwork


You can do one of two things

  • Old towel
  • Bowl with water
  • Paint tray with multiple areas
  • Purchase a canvas, large piece of watercolor paper, Mod Pod, your paint colors and a large paint brush - or
  • Purchase a canvas with a product called gesso. This product will create a matte finish on the canvas to paint on. You'll also need your paint colors and a large paint brush

Step 1. Lay down your towel underneath either your canvas, or watercolor paper.

Step 2. Squeeze your paint colors into the areas in your paint tray.

Step 3. With your large paint brush, paint water over the entire piece of watercolor paper or canvas. The more water you use the more translucent the paint will be.

Step 4. Now starting with one of your colors, dip it into the paint and begin brushing it back and forth across your canvas or paper. Allow to dry.

Step 5. Do the same thing with each of your colors.

Color Washing Artwork with a Theme

We're going to say that your theme is flowers for the purpose of writing this. Don't worry if your not an artist - I've got you covered.

Step 1. Start laying out your flowers and design. You can see above that the flowers are just scribbled circles with one inside the other till you have a full looking flowers. However, you can print flowers front your home printer, color the back of the paper with a pencil and then trace them onto your canvas or watercolor paper.

Now here's a decision you'll make. Do you want the flowers to be light like the background, or do you want them to stand out a bit.

When painting the flowers - it doesn't need to be perfect. You want them to be almost puddles of color with a slight shape to them.

Step 2. If you want them to be light like the background, you'll simply dip your brush in water and color in the shape of the flowers with water. Now go over the flowers with a bit of color. Allow to dry.

Step 2. If you want your flowers to be slightly darker, then dip your brush into the water, then into your color and paint the shape of the flowers. Allow to dry.

Step 3. Now we'll paint the background. Usually this would be in a neutral color. Above they used grey. Start with painting the background with lots of water, including in between the flowers.

Step 4. Now taking a bit of your neutral colored paint, begin brushing back and forth and in random motions.

Your finished! I hope you love this as much as I love making them.

Definition: Flat Wash Technique

The flat wash technique is the most basic watercolor technique. It is done by wetting the area of paper to be covered by the wash. After wetting the surface, you have to mix sufficient amount of pigment needed to fill the entire area. Apply the pigment to a sloping surface, from top to bottom, in slight overlapping horizontal bands. Once the wash is complete, leave it to dry. Never work back into a drying wash as the results can be tragic! Another variation to this basic wash is the graded wash, which involves dilution of the pigment with more water for every horizontal stroke. This means with every horizontal stroke, the wash will be lighter, giving the paper a wash that fades out evenly and gradually.

Definition: Dry Brush Technique

This technique is the exact opposite of the wet-in-wet technique. It involves loading of the brush with pigment and dragging it across a completely dry paper. The pigment is not mixed with too much water. Crisp and hard-edged marks are made by this technique. The marks produced tend to stand out in the painting, thus need to be applied around the center of one's interest.

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