I don’t know if it’s because I’m super indecisive or am just honestly in sticker shock when I look for artwork for our home, but our walls in the living room have been bare for almost three years now, and last week I decided I had had enough of the nudity! I’ve created my own “artwork” here and there over the years like these DIY mixed media pet portraits, but this was a whole new beast…Watercolors…Something I hadn’t used since my college painting 101 class days…
I’ve been falling hard for all the agate goodness floating around the blogosphere. It’s so funny though, because I remember these being a “big” thing when I was younger, don’t you? I guess my mom was right about if you keep things long enough–you’ll see them come back in style again! So after browsing various websites, and shopping around I realized that I didn’t want to fork over $150+ per painting…remember…I’m super indecisive, and chances are I’ll get sick of these in a few months and want to replace them with something else! 🙂
For now, I’m absolutely in love with them! They’ve brought such a vibrant pop of color into our living room, and were fairly easy to do!
I noticed my technique actually got better each time. The first one I painted, I made the mistake of making the swirls and lines too “neat” and because of that it didn’t have the realistic qualities the other ones did, so if you’d like to duplicate these for your own home, don’t be afraid to get sloppy, drippy, and let the watercolors do their thang! 🙂
I’m going to be repainting #1 so it blends better with the other 3, but overall I’m super happy with the way they turned out, and pretty proud to say “thanks, I did that.” 🙂
The large Ribba frames are from Ikea, and at $20 a piece were a steal for the over 2 ft size they are! I was able to paint, mat, and frame these four for less than purchasing one. Total price for these came to about $120–$30 a piece– Pretty great!
To make your own agate art, you’ll need a set of water colors, a few different size brushes, a palate (to mix custom colors) and paper that’s specifically for water colors + an optional effect of adding gold gilding to add some sparkle.
I painted in my bed, while in front of the TV late at night. It was pretty therapeutic actually 🙂 Only bad thing is I don’t have pictures of the in progress but I’m going to try to explain what I mean when I say “not to be too neat.”
When you make a ring of color, make it super wet! Like if you move the paper there should be a little puddle of water developing. Then with a smaller brush, get a dark color for contrast and carefully overlap the very edge of the overly saturated ring. It’s going to bleed, but that’s exactly what you want it to do…
These bleeding spots it what gives it an agate-like look. It doesn’t look great now, but after repeating the process about 20-30 times for each ring. It begins to take shape and take on a life of its own.
Once it’s completely dry, to add a bit of sparkle and definition to the painting, I did a little gold detailing with my pot of Martha Stewart gold gilding. I have used this stuff for so many little projects and crafts! It’s fantastic!
I think it really makes the painting pop, but this is totally optional. 🙂
I could not be happier with the results! Even if that whole agate-design is not your bag…There’s something really fun, personal, and a feeling of proudness about creating your own masterpieces to hang on your walls. I hope you’ll give it a try! 🙂
Talk to you soon friends, take care!