Original art is a wonderful thing to have, not only because it’s beautiful and something unique to you alone, but also because it makes your interior design that much richer. But since it’s not always affordable, what to do when you want to boost the personalization of your favorite spaces? The answer is simple DIY watercolor art that costs a fraction of what you’d buy in a gallery or boutique, and can even be customized to suit the color palette of your room.
You don’t need a degree from RISD to make this DIY art project work. If you have a sense of basic color theory, great; if not, simply choose an item in your room that you love, and use it to build your color palette. Here we chose a sham from Annie’s new Wallflower bedding collection, which includes dozens of gorgeous pastels and deep jewel tones. With the color palette being so wide-ranging, it was almost foolproof. Even better, with this type of DIY art, there are no mistakes; if we didn’t like a particular stroke or composition, we simply let it dry, then added another color over the area, and, like magic, we now had a new piece of art.
Ready to get down to the seriously fun business of making original watercolor art? Here’s how.
What you’ll need:
Good-quality watercolor paper, 140 lbs.—we used Canson
Frames—we like Ikea’s Ribba style
Watercolor paints in your choice of colors
Glasses of water for mixing paint colors and rinsing the brushes
Paintbrushes in assorted sizes—we used a mix of round and flat brushes in small and medium sizes
How to do it:
- Place the backing of the frame facedown on your watercolor paper, and trace the shape of it with a pencil.
- Using scissors, cut your paper along the traced lines.
- Begin mixing your colors.
- Determine the technique you will use—for example, dots, strokes, lines, or blocks. Keep it simple and stick to one technique per frame. Load your brush with a color and place it deliberately on the paper. As much as possible, avoid letting the color bleed. Don’t try too hard to make defined shapes; the looser the style, the better.
- Rinse your brush, switch colors, and repeat step 4.
- Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you have a composition you’re happy with.
- Allow the paint to dry completely before inserting into the frame.