Welcome! Today I will be showing you how to create a beautiful painting in a short amount of time using inexpensive materials. Painting can be very intimidating and I wanted to show a painless project that everyone can successfully complete. I completed mine in approximately 45 minutes and I believe most people will be able to do the same. I hope you enjoy this tutorial!
Step 1: Tools and Materials
After working with art supplies for over twenty years, I cannot stress how important it is to purchase quality products. Quality doesn't always mean expensive, but it can be difficult to learn when to spend the money and when not to. For this project, I used a canvas, but it could easily be done on cardboard or thick paper.
You will need:
Glue-I recommends Elmer's, but I ended up using a dollar store glue and was very happy with the results.
Watercolors- Any level is fine. Spending more money will give you more pigments and richer colors, but that isn't always necessary when working with watercolors. Many artists like the diluted and washed out look cheaper watercolors provide.
Something to paint on- A thick piece of paper or a canvas panel is recommended, but even a piece of cardboard will work. Watercolors warp paper so you need something that will soak up the water but not tear. I used a canvas for mine.
Paintbrush- Use one that will hold a good amount of water, and the brushes that come with the watercolor sets are ok! They might take you a little longer but they work great.
Optional: Salt or glitter. The salt will add textural elements as you will see in mine, and the glitter will make it sparkly.
Step 2: Create Your Image
Please don't overthink this step! If you want to you can fill the surface with dots or lines or go the Jackson Pollock route and toss the glue all over. If you have the ability to draw, go for it, but that isn't necessary. This project is meant to be loose. Glue thins out and will run a little so getting fine details is very tricky.
Tip: If you are drawing an image remember to go slow! Slow and steady wins the race when drawing with glue.
Step 3: Let the Glue Dry
This is the longest part of the whole project. White glue is very wet and takes time to dry. If you want to speed up the process, grab a hair dryer but please be careful. I did this with mine and the air created some very interesting textures in the glue. It took me around 25 minutes to dry it. The picture shows how the glue becomes transparent once it starts to dry. The thicker areas will take longer, but once it develops a film over the top that isn't tacky to the touch you can start painting, just be careful over thick areas so you don't spread the glue. It will work the best is you wait for it to dry completely.
Texture tip: When the glue is close to being dry you can start to manipulate it if you desire texture. Using the end of a pen, a pebble or even your fingertip can add some interesting textures that will enhance your painting. Be mindful that pushing too hard can cause issues. If you are interested in trying this, do it on a test surface first.
Step 4: Start Applying Your Colors
This is another area where you shouldn't overthink it. Starting filling in different areas of the surface with different colors. Watercolors blend nicely and this should be easy. If it gets "muddy" looking, add some clean water to the surface to wash it out a little.
Tip: If you are uncertain about what colors to use refer to a color wheel. Or if it is a theme use the colors you would normally see in the theme. I used brown, green, and blue because I wanted my painting to reflect a rainstorm. Need ideas? Visit Pinterest or do an image search and see what other artist use. Your ideas don't need to be original while you are learning.
Step 5: Blend Your Colors
Once you have a decent amount of colors applied to your surface it is time to blend. To do this make sure your brush is clean and move your paintbrush around the surface back and forth to allow the colors to begin colliding together. If it isn't wanting to move, simply add more water.
Step 6: Optional: Add Texture
I sprinkled salt over my canvas once my colors were blended and it gave it the appearance of rain and I was thrilled. Salt is a very interesting ingredient to add to paint because it will naturally manipulate the paint and I've always been happy with the results. This is also the stage you could add glitter if you wanted your painting to shine a little more.
Step 7: Enjoy Your Beautiful Work of Art
Now you are finished. Notice how the glue takes on a different hue than the rest of the paper and how it rises above the surface. I used a watercolor paint with a slight shimmer to it and loved the metallic look it created. I hope you have fun with this project and find success. Happy painting!