This is a great group project... I did this with my son and it didn't take all that long. We like to do art projects together and this format allows each of us to contribute to a common goal. It's fun when it is somewhat abstract and we can focus on using colors that we both like and we can balance the amount of color vs background in a way we both find pleasing. Also, we are both lacking in the art gene, so this is something that leans on process and technology to create an impressive (I mean to us it is!) piece that is better than we could otherwise pull off!
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Tripod for projector (anyone will work, for example)
Projector (similar style as mine $70)
(here's an instructable I found of a Smartphone DIY Projector)
Paint Brushes (example)
Small plastic cups (I used 2 oz snack cups)
Paint Stir Sticks
Small dropper (100 cheap plastic ones)
Computer and cable to connect your projector
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Step 1: Search for a Great Image
Find a picture from the internet. I searched in Google for “ABSTRACT ART SPLAT”. I used the advanced filter to select files that have usage rights for noncommercial reuse. I searched for square format because my canvas is square, and you should match and search similarly.
Step 2: Setup Your Workspace
Put down a tarp to protect the table.
Connect the projector to your computer as a second monitor and project the image you downloaded. Most projectors have an HDMI IN which pairs with HDMI OUT on your computer. I projected straight down onto a flat table. You may have to get creative to fix your projector in a space above the table. It's important that it points straight down, because with pour paint you don't want the canvas to tilt causing the paint to run.
I selected an area that had some light, but not too much direct bright sunlight (that would interfere with the projector image quality). Adjust the height of the projector to adjust the display size of the image, to fit the canvas. Sharply focus your projection. I tried to balance the positive and negative space of the art within the canvas (more on positive/negative space). Use paint sticks to mark the position of the canvas. I never moved the projector once it was set up. If you accidentally move the projector or canvas, try your best to re-align it.
Step 3: Mix Paint for the First Region
Look at one area of the picture and pick the main colors. For each color, try to create the different shades you will need by mixing paints in the small cups. Refer to the projection often until you get the right shades. Occasionally you can turn off the projector and peak at your artistic talents! Don't be afraid to individualize your color palette.
Step 4: Drop That Paint!
Using the dropper, squeeze to fill and dispense. I suggest you practice making small drops and practice aiming, as you will drop from a distance to make the “splat” effect. Also, add a little water to thin the paint if you want the “splat” effect. Here we got a little aggressive...we voted and decided to start over! The nice thing about this process is that starting over is not a big deal, just replace the canvas.
Step 5: Brush for Detail
Utilize a small brush, such as in the image below, to paint any outlines or parts in your picture that have a shape and not a splatter shape. For example, in the image above, you see me painting the tree branches with the small brush. Obviously, we let the original 'dropped paint' colors dry completely before we painted the branches over it.
Step 6: Other Tips
- You can replicate parts of the original by layering paint, realizing that the last layer will cover previous layers.
- Remember to turn the projector off to see how the picture is looking compared to the projection.
- Continue to work on different regions of your painting until you are satisfied.
- Finally don’t forget to sign your work! (and give credit to the original artist!)
Participated in the