A lot can be said of modern art, mostly negative things. Maybe it is a reaction to the fact that masterpieces of art and architecture are long gone, instead of Turner’s fighting Temeraire we have Tracy Emin’s ‘unmade bed’, no need to Google it, it is literally an unmade bed…Instead of the Pantheon, we have a selection of dildo-looking glass skyscrapers being imposed upon every city in the world, by snobbish architects who pass awards amongst themselves like children trading Halloween candy. But, rather than admitting this cultural stagnation, the intelligentsia would rather hand out awards to any vacuous art piece that is likely to get media attention.
Take it from Albert Wolff, a writer for Le Figaro, who wrote of the impressionist (the movement which started of the decline of good art) Renior, in 1874: “Try to explain to Mr Renoir,” he wrote, “that a woman’s torso is not a mass of decomposing flesh with green and purple spots that indicate the state of total putrefaction in a corpse!” …Ouch!
However, modern and abstract art does have a place in the modern living place we believe, bold colors contrasting and complimenting your existing color scheme can add character and ‘accent’ to your living space. In this tutorial we’ll show you how to make your own easy pop-art like DIY paintings, it will get loads of compliments and serves as the perfect conversation starter.
Here’s one I painted recently to go with my green/yellow/gold dominant color scheme (with dark green walls and yellow as the accent color). Check out our post on color shcemes so you can match your painting to your decor. This technique would probably benefit from a few practice trials on some paper or a smaller canvas.
Materials: Canvas, paint (acrylic is the easiest and cheapest method), paint brushes, string, slow dry medium for acrylic paint, cardboard (optional).
Step 1. Paint the canvas with your backround color. This method orks best if you use just one backround color, if you are using acylic paint, which is plastic based, dries really quickly, you can buy some ‘slow dry’ medium and just mix it with the paint, you could also just add some water to the mix, or spray the canvas with a mister.
Step 2. Mix a complementary color in a jar, and cut some string to about the length of the canvas, plus a few more inches (I used some hemp rope string). Mix the string in with the paint so the paint has completely covered the string, like below. Give the string a stir around with a utencil like a paint brush or something.
Step 3. Dangle the string onto the wet backround on the canvas like below and let it settle for a few seconds. You can let the string naturally dangle on the canvas which creates a random squiggle shape, like the one below. I probably overloaded the string with a bit too much paint, but you get the idea!
Step 4. For this step, grab a piece of cardboard, this step isn’t totally necessary but I found it helped the look from my practice trials, probably becuase the paint was drying a bit too fast! Lay the cardboard over the string and press down on it with your arm.
Step 5. Gently and evenly pull the string from the bottom whilst still leaning on the cardboard cut out. Pull the string directly out in a straight line. You don’t have to use the cardboard, but I found that it helped a lot.
If it all goes well it should end up looking like the below, you can probably tell it takes a bit of practice, I probably overloaded the string with paint for this piece so there are some blotchy patches, the effect also works better when the backround is more liquid.
Step 6. Repeat the process as many times as you want varying the position of the string for more varied structures or even varying the color of the paint. Practice on some normal paper or smaller canvasses which you can paint over and retry if necessary.
Voila! The below is somewhat messy but the effect if there, you can paint around the plants with your backround color to clean up the areas affected during the string pulling process. The bettr you get at it the more natural and fluid the piece will look.