You don’t have to be an artist to create this abstract watercolor art – just making patterns and painting
Hi Kenarry readers, it’s Lori from Greco Design Company and I’m here today to show you how to make abstract watercolor triptych artwork.
You don’t have to be an artist to do this and it will look like you spent a lot of money on original art. Abstract painting is an excellent way to have fun with watercolors without having to worry about getting things just right. Sometimes just making patterns and painting colors is fun whatever your level of experience.
Triptych art is a work of art that is divided into three sections but are meant to be displayed together. The idea of 3 piece art hanging together started back in the Middle Ages with Christian art. And today, triptychs are a common style used in more modern commercial artwork. And there are a lot of advantages to displaying 3 smaller pieces of artwork versus one large piece of art:
- Framing: It’s easier to find frames for three smaller pieces of art versus one large.
- Better visual appeal: Triptych art challenges the viewer to move from one piece to the next and digest three different artworks in one composition.
- Wall Coverage: Three smaller pieces hung together has the presence of a larger piece of art and fills a bigger space.
This project is not only fun it’s also inexpensive. And to save even more money, you can reuse any old frames you have laying around gathering dust. Remove the old artwork, clean them up and now they’re ready for your new masterpiece.
What you need:
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- Watercolor paper – this is a must, but you don’t need to buy the best quality. I like to use cold press (more texture than hot) with a weight of 140 lb.
- Watercolor paint
- Watercolor brushes – Again, you don’t need artist quality paints.
- A set of 3 frames – if you don’t have old ones you can reuse, look for deals in stores.
- Two water jars (one for rinsing your brush and one for spreading water).
- A rag for blotting
1. Prepare your paper
Tape your three pieces of watercolor paper together on the back as they’ll be viewed. Then tape the edges down to help prevent the paper from warping when wet.
2. Draw your design.
If you prefer to have a “design” or some sort of structure to your painting, use a pencil and draw your design onto the paper. I usually do this and erase the pencil marks so I can barely see them but I can still see them for guidance.
We’re creating an abstract image, which can either be based on general shapes or patterns or a representation of things, such as a landscape. You decide!
3. Wet your watercolor paper.
For me, the most forgiving method of painting with watercolors is known as wet on wet: which means wet paint onto a wet surface (versus wet on dry which is wet paint onto a dry surface). And the wet on wet technique produces some wonderful diffuse patterns. You never really know exactly what is going to happen with your colors as they bleed into each other but it’s so fun see the results.
Pay attention to the wetness of the paper. If the paper is too wet, colors will float around in the water. If the paper is too dry, your paint will stick to the paper too quickly and you’ll get no dispersion.
4. Start painting!
Load your brush and hold it vertically over the paper. Apply a drop of paint to the wet paper and watch the pigment expand.
Before the paint dries add another
Once your artwork is completely dry, add them to your frames and hang.
Now you have an original abstract watercolor art triptych!
Painting with watercolors is so fun and you don’t have to be an experienced artist to try this technique. I hope you try it – and be sure to check out a few of these related posts:
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Lori is a freelance graphic designer living in the Boston area with her husband, their three kids and a yellow lab puppy. She started Greco Design Company in 2014 when she realized that her love for design was extending beyond the corporate advertising world and into all areas of her life. You’ll find she shares unique but simple DIY projects, gives some great ideas for home design, provides her outlook on current fashion trends, and loves to do beauty and product reviews. She incorporates her graphic design background through her free printables, paintings, signs, art prints, invitations and stationery on her blog and in her Etsy shop. Lori believes in the importance of surrounding ourselves with good, purposeful design that can help streamline our lives and still be affordable. Her tutorials are easy to follow as she shows how you can make anything you set your mind to!
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