Custom Painting

We were at Crate and Barrel this weekend poking around just for fun.  As I ventured through the second floor furniture department I was looking for something unique for our family room mantel.  I found some vases that Howard quickly poo-pooed and then I found this painting. It’s called ‘Creamsicles” – yummy.

This painting was way too big for the mantle which was a good thing because it carried a $399 price tag.  We closely examined the texture and the colors.  It appears to have a wavy film on top of the original painting that  has fine white lines to add some dimension to it.  Hmm… not something you could easily do at home.  Or could you? 

I woke up the next morning thinking, I need to paint!  Mind you, I have not painted anything other than the house since grade school.  I called around to a couple of craft stores before finding a place with 24″x18″ canvas in stock.  This was the best size I could find for the space above the fireplace.  After a google search for coupons I rushed off to the store to purchase a bright white canvas for $7 after using a 50 percent off coupon. 

In my efforts to remain cheap, should this project fail, I pulled out all of the Olympic paint samples we had on hand. Do the colors off-white, heirloom lace, toasted almond and brandied pears ring a bell? I started by pouring a few of the colors side by side on a paper plate and didn’t mix anything.  The idea here was get something with stripes.

I was having so much fun.  I might have to do this more often!  After a couple of minutes I had some stripes that I was content with.  But the stripes didn’t pop above the fireplace and Howard commented it was ‘ok.’  This was when I wasn’t sure if I should start over, I had a nagging suspicion that I would only make things worse if I picked up the paint brush again.

Instead I decided I would try to snap some fresh lines using a piece of string.  So I poured some of the brandied pears paint into a fresh paper plate and saturated the string with paint.

This string trick added some dimension and some fresh un-mixed color to the painting.  This part was even more fun. If I rolled the string I could make a thicker line.  This was by far the best way to make stripes on a piece of canvas.  There is no way my hand could make such straight and steady stripes.

After adding the new stripes the first thought that came to mind was “wow!  I made something that looks like wrapping paper!” Howard thought the results looked pretty good this time so we retired to the deck to have a beer.  I grunted about how I wasn’t happy with the results….

But after the beer, I started to think that maybe this isn’t too bad for a first attempt. 

It’s no Crate and Barrel painting.  But hey, what do you expect for $7 and half and hour worth of work?  I have a feeling we’ll be picking up a darker brown paint sample and I’ll be making more lines with the string.  Afterall, it was so much fun!!

6 thoughts on “Custom Painting

  1. Renter's Paradise says:

    I think it looks really good! Instead of the dark brown you could try a dark blue or even a red (if I remember correctly you have a red vase of some sort?) to sort of tie together the other elements in your room. Just a thought 🙂


  2. Dee says:

    I don’t know Ellen, I think I like yours much better. The other one looks like old beadboard or metal… I had a hard time telling what it was. Good work!


  3. Laura Johnson says:

    I must say I’m a fan!

    However, I do think the hardest part of creating your own art, liking it. It’s easy to get inspired and dive into a project, even a project that is well within out artistic means. But hanging it on the wall and enjoying the what you see, that can be harder than standing in front of the mirror naked! (at least then you can close the door)

    Nice work, I’m happy to see someone taking on these types of projects and having the heart to share them with the world.


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