At the moment, a lot of the art on sale in high-end shops such as Anthropologie and on sites such as Society6, is very easy to replicate, requiring minimal drawing and painting skills.
And they’re fun to do.
The YouTube tribe has jumped on these with relish, and there are dozens of DIY videos out there (do a YouTube search for “simple boho art”).
I’m a great believer in buying original art, and acknowledging and recompensing the artist, but for a painting that I’ll probably be bored with in a couple of months, I cannot justify paying hundreds of dollars when I can make it myself.
Don’t feel guilty about copying these – I’m sure there are artists out there who are coming up with beautiful originals, but in general, they’re all over sites such as AliExpress and Etsy, available as a print for a few dollars.
And even the ones from the expensive shops are mass-produced prints, not originals – I think you’re basically paying for the frame here!
DESERT AND GEOMETRIC ABSTRACTS
Examples – click to enlarge, then close the tab to return
YouTube channel, Being Me, shows how to colour-mix a basic boho palette from artists acrylic paints, and he does some simple designs.
DIY Karem shows how to transfer a printout to your canvas if you want to do something more complex but can’t draw, and she also makes a line portrait using twine. Cute.
Draw it lightly onto your canvas with a pencil, and paint away.
If, like me, you’re not very good at putting a colour palette together, paint a few miniature mock-ups till you find a combination that appeals to you:
Buy craft paints (DecoArt, Apple Barrel, Folk Art etc) in colours that you like, so you won’t need to mix your own.
Note to all Mauritians – we’re not that lucky – no craft paints here, as far as I know, just artists acrylics, and a limited range of house paint sample pots from Mauvillac and Permoglaze, which is what I used.
If you do mix your own, make more than you think you’ll need, as if you run out, you’ll never be able to mix the exact colour again.
I added talcum powder to some of the paints to mattify them (yes, that is a word – I checked!), and baking powder to others to add texture.
These are a couple of mine:
LINE PORTRAIT COLLAGE
You need a little drawing ability for this one.
You can either draw your own, as I did, or do a search for “minimalist abstract face line art” in Etsy or AliExpress, or an image search for the same thing in Google.
Choose one that has distinct shapes that you can cut out of cardboard – nothing too complex. Something like these:
If you can’t draw it, download the image, and print it to the size you want.
Draw around the shapes, and cut them out to use as a template.
Then follow the video.
Another foreign video – French this time.
Céline from I Do It Myself – the relevant part starts at 10.05 minutes:
OK – I just watched the video again, and I wished I’d done that before I made my portrait – I used wood filler to laboriously fill the corrugation of the cardboard edges, then again to fill any gaps once I glued the pieces to the board – she used one layer of paper maché.
Much quicker, and it adds additional texture to the entire painting.
Here’s my process in photos:
(Click to enlarge)
I wasn’t happy with the original mouth, so I replaced it, but that left me struggling to make her mouth look like it didn’t belong to a blow-up doll:
And despite giving her teeth, I’m not at all sure that I succeeded!
She’s currently living in a cupboard.