DIY modern wall art step-by-step tutorial. Learn how to paint an abstract design using a paint can instead of a paint brush. Easy beginner level decorating project to make modern abstract art for your home decor.
I have been making a few decorative changes in my entryway/foyer. The first change was the driftwood sculpture I made that looks like a fish.
My house is not big, but the foyer is 2-story and spacious. It creates a nice flow through the house as well as making the house feel larger overall.
This was a fun project that I did as an experiment with a pack of 3 primed and stretched white canvases from Michaels that cost $10.
I used leftover paint so I didn’t have much to lose if my modern abstract art idea didn’t turn out.
What is the Difference Between Modern and Abstract Art?
Abstract art is technically a style of art wherein a realistic subject is reduced (abstracted) to its basics of structure. It could also be anything that isn’t realistic – any arrangement of shapes and colors and lines is considered abstraction.
Modern art is more about how artist’s use new and exciting techniques that challenge traditional ideas about what art is and could be.
It doesn’t represent real things at all or even symbols. Artist’s who create it are more focused with the images themselves and the materials from which they make the images. Many of the techniques modern artist’s use might seem primitive or even random.
DIY Modern Art Canvas Idea
So I am going to call the art I created with the bottom rim of a paint can, “ModernAbstraction” since it is a little bit of both styles. :-)
Not a Fan of Modern or Abstract Art?
If you are not a fan of the abstract or modern art style, I bet your kids or grandkids would like to create some original art for their bedrooms that isn’t on construction paper.
If they are bored and you want to do something creative with them, this is something they could easily do that will make them feel like a real artist creating on a canvas.
How to Paint a DIY Modern Wall Art Painting on Canvas
This easy to paint abstract wall art project is inexpensive and easy. So grab a canvas or two or three and your favorite paint color or colors to create a true original.
- Primed artist canvas – I bought a pack of 3 at Michaels for $9.99
- Leftover paint – I used the color by Valspar: Mountain Botanical 6010-9
- 1 gallon paint can that has a plastic bottom rim (see photo above)
- Damp rag
- Sheet of corrugated cardboard
- Small tipped artist paint brush
- 2″-3″ wide bristle paint brush or small paint roller
- Old toothbrush – for splattering paint
- Before painting on the actual canvas. Test the paint technique on scrap paper or newspaper to get a feel for it.
- It doesn’t matter if the paint can is empty or full. If it is full, it will be heavier to pick up. The can is used was about half-full.
- If you only have a metal bottom paint can, the technique will still work, but the circles will be thinner.
Time needed: 45 minutes.
How to Easily Paint Abstract Art on a Canvas
- Set up a Workspace to Paint
I covered a section of the floor in my studioffice with a cardboard drop cloth and made a palette for my paint using a piece of cardboard covered with foil.
I poured paint onto the foil covered cardboard and spread it evenly over the surface using an old 3″ wide paint brush. You could also use a small paint roller to do this.
- Place Paint Can on Palette
To create the connected ring pattern, place a one gallon paint can on your palette of spread out paint and twist it a few times.
Lift straight up and look on the bottom of the can to make sure no paint is in the center. If it is, simply wipe it away with a damp rag.
Starting in the center of one canvas, place the can on the canvas and twist it a few times in place, then lift it straight up.
Repeat the process until the canvas is covered with connected circles/rings.
- Add Paint Splatters – Optional
To create splatters of paint on the canvas. Load a paint brush with paint and hold it over the canvas as you forcefully run your fingers over the brush to release the paint in splatters.
- Paint Sides of Canvas
To continue the connected circles on the sides of the canvas, use a small tipped paint brush to connect the rings on the face of the canvas to the sides.
- Add Splatter to the Sides of the Canvas
Using an old toothbrush loaded with paint or a stiff paint brush. Hold it a few inches above one side of the canvas and forcefully run your thumb over the bristles to release the paint so it splatters on the surface.
- Let Dry
Allow the paint to dry for at least 8 hour as some of the larger splatters of paint may take awhile to dry.
The canvases are lightweight. To hang them I used a small nail for each and simply hung the canvas over each nail.
Creating the connected circle canvases was fun, but only one way of many that you can try to create abstract or modern art for your home.
If this idea intrigues you, you may like what this blogger did to create art for the wall in her living room.