Make an Abstract Painting: Easy DIY Art!

5 Materials
4 Hours

Even if you don’t have much experience in painting, I am confident that you can make art. You can easily Make an Abstract Painting, which is a great place to start…there is no right or wrong…it’s just what YOU like.

What you Need to Make an Abstract Painting:
  • Large Canvas. I think you need a largish canvas for this painting… I used a 30 by 40 inch. 
  • Acrylic paint in your desired colors. I used Winsor & Newton Galeria Acrylic in Ultramarine, Liquitex Acyrlic in Ivory Black and Liquitex Acrylic in White
  • Gold Leaf Sheets
  • Leaf Adhesive Size
  • Pallet Knife, Putty Knife, Large 2″ paint brush
  • Something for texture. I found an old roll of drywall repair mesh in the garage. My sweet hubby drives me a little crazy in that he really hates to throw anything away…’you just never know when we’ll need it’. This is one of those cases where I was glad for his ‘hoarding’ tendency.
How to Make an Abstract Painting:
  • I first placed a couple pieces of the drywall mesh on the canvas. I chose to put mine only where I was going to paint, but I guess there’s no reason why you couldn’t put it where the gold would be. The only thing to be aware of is that I planned to pull the mesh off so I didn’t adhere it to the canvas. If you were planning to put the gold leaf over the mesh, you would definitely want to adhere the mesh.
  • The ultramarine right out of the tube was a little too bright blue, so I mixed it with about an equal amount of black to get the dark blue.

 I painted that dark blue on most of the canvas above where I would put the gold. I used a putty knife and a palette knife, making it thick in some areas and thinner in other area.

Once the blue was almost dry, I removed the mesh. It pulled right off. Here’s a closeup of the painted mesh.

Once that blue was dry I went in with a blue closer to what comes out of the Ultramarine tube. But this was still way to blue for me. While that was drying, I painted on the gold leaf size as it needs to dry for about a half hour.

After a half hour, I laid on the gold leaf and went back over the brighter blue with my dark black blue. I also laid down a little white

  • After a half hour, I laid on the gold leaf and went back over the brighter blue with my dark black blue. I also laid down a little white. When all the paint was dry, I went back and added a wee bit more gold leaf up in the blue. 

This painting ended up with a moody, brooding feel to it…which is fine. Almost reminds me of a thunderstorm, with the gold being lightning flashes.

With the acrylics, this painting could be made from start to finish in a couple of hours. If you need to fill up a large wall space, an abstract painting is an easy remedy. There’s no right or wrong, just so it’s pleasing to your eye. I always find it helpful to stand far back from the painting, checking on it several times in different lighting to make sure I like what I see.

Resources for this project:

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Lynn @ Nourish and Nestle
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

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  1 question
  • Luy48977582 Luy48977582 on Sep 11, 2020

    Are there a subject of this painting? Otherwise, I don't know what it is my painting.


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2 of 5 comments
  • Kelly J. Tinney Kelly J. Tinney on Sep 11, 2021

    I never cared for abstract art until the last few years and now I love it. You did a great job and I honestly thought of a broody thunderstorm when I saw your finished project. I think I’ll try this one wet cold winter Saturday with my DIL. And your use of the tape for texture made

    my brain 🤯 and has me 🤔 of all kinds of cool ideas to try; cheesecloth, and maybe some different stencils but very faint and sparse.

    Thank you for sharing and for the inspiration! 🎨 🖌 👩🏼‍🎨 🖼 🔴🟠🔵🟢🟡🟣⚫️⚪️🟤

  • CA CA on Sep 11, 2021

    Love this style of art. The best part is the surprise at the end of what it may look like, as with your "thunderstorm". You did a great job! Thanks for sharing!