DIY: Create earthy art

Once dried, remove the stencil and voila! You have created your own earthy art.
Once dried, remove the stencil and voila! You have created your own earthy art. The Fresno Bee

When long, hot days are spent inside the house, one tends to turn one’s thoughts inward… mostly toward changing the way the inside of the house looks. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that so many of my friends are talking about updating their living rooms or redoing their bedrooms.

A few years ago I saw this art project on Pinterest, and tucked it away for a rainy — or in this case, a hot, hiding in the air conditioning — day. The artist had taken various leaves and foliage and, using them as a stencil, created an interesting painting. The pictures of the process made the project look ridiculously simple. Ever the skeptic, I wondered if the creator was an actual artist or — as purported — just your average crafter.

My skepticism for this project didn’t leave until I lifted off the palm frond stencil. I liked the way it turned out, and the whole project really was as simple as it seemed. Give it a try: create your own earthy art.

What you’ll need:

▪ Artist’s canvas

▪ Watercolor paint

▪ Foliage (large leaves, fronds or small branches with leaves)

▪ Cup of water

▪  Paint brush

▪ Spray paint

▪  Newspaper

Prep your canvas

The key to this craft is in the way the colors are layered. I wanted the base layer to be lighter and softer than the top layer. To achieve this, first I wet the entire surface of the canvas using plain water and a paint brush. Once completely wet, I repainted the entire surface with lemon yellow watercolor paint. When working with watercolors, you’ll notice that the more water you add, the more diffuse the color.

Find your foliage

As I was waiting for the canvas to dry completely before the next step, I took some time to find some foliage that I would use as a stencil. While I chose for a palm frond, other choices could have included a series of leaves from other houseplants or a ficus branch.

Add the top coat

Next, I headed outside to well-ventilated spray painting area and laid the canvas on some newspaper. Using the palm frond like a stencil, I positioned it atop the canvas; with light, even strokes, I spray painted over the entire surface of the canvas.

Once completely dried, I removed the palm frond and voila! Instant art.