New DIY Art for the Living Room!!

April 1, 2021

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We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

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I loved the framed trees on the mantle in the living room, but for the sake of simplifying in preparation to sell, I thought one large canvas would be better to really show off the scale of the fireplace. Large art can be expensive so I decided to tackle this one myself.

I’d thought I’d share a few tips to note before starting your own painting:

• They sell large, blank canvases at most craft stores and the best part is craft stores generally have 50% off coupons. I purchased a 24×36 canvas from Michaels for under $25. I already had acrylic paint on hand and think this is a great starter set.

• One tip I learned while studying art in college is that all you really need are the primary colors, plus black and white and mixing your own secondary (and tertiary) colors from those will actually help your whole painting and color palette feel unified. But! If that’s intimidating to you, don’t feel one iota of guilt about squeezing a little green or ochre or indigo on there if you want!

• Once you decide what to paint, I recommend doing an “underpainting” first. Basically, paint your entire canvas in a neutral tone–I like to go a little darker because it helps me see the depth of color better! But I’ve seen some artists do a red underpainting and have peeks of it come through in the final. It’s really up to you. But painting straight on a white canvas can often leave you with a dull finished product if your final background is anything but white.

• Framing your art when you’re done will REALLY go a long way in making it looked polished. Here’s an easy DIY framed canvas tutorial. But for the new art, I actually just painted a boarder around the edge and it looks frame from a distance!

We took a short video of the process:

And here’s the final piece!

And how it looks above the fireplace in the living room:

Art is subjective so I tried to do something that I thought was universally cheerful and welcoming for our upcoming showings! It makes me sooo happy!!! What do you think??

Hope you all have a Happy April Fool’s day! ;)

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What do you think?

  1. Kathleen Wille says:

    You totally got me, and I’ve assumed that was your art until today. I honestly thought, wow, Julia really does need to move for her health!

  2. Lisa says:

    SO great! :)))

  3. Caitlin Rose Low says:

    I feel quite proud of myself that when I saw the first picture and before I even opened the post I knew this was fake!!

  4. Cristina says:

    It’s soooooo you!!! LOL

  5. Christina says:

    You actually almost got me/you totally got me. I felt so bad thinking how hideous it was and if you were so depressed that you weren’t thinking clearly. I said a prayer while staring at it and then it was as if I ran right into a brick wall. Hilarious! Way to go!

  6. Trish says:

    April Fools!!! You almost got me!

  7. Michelle says:

    HAHAHA You NAILED it! Best joke I’ve seen today. In all seriousness, if I attempted my own drawing this is extremely close to how it would turn out. Ask me how I know. But I have used the techniques you described to create abstracts. nothing I’d frame, but its fun to do. One idea for those who want a serious attempt is to use your wall paint as the base. Then you choose/blend colors that look nice with that background shining through. Can’t remember is this was your suggestion Julia, but I think it was another blogger. Anyway, it helps align your overall palette to the wall where it will hang. Or….imagine this clown on a field of Lamp Grey …

  8. Cici Haus says:

    HA I love it!

  9. Tina says:

    I was so confused!! I started to think I guess it’s cheery ????????‍♀️????
    Good one!!

  10. Julie says:

    Thanks for the laugh! And hope this clown image doesn’t stay in my head forever…..

  11. Jordan says:

    Omgggggg I was dying! Noooo not Julia! Using red?? What is HAPPENING?????

  12. Shauna says:

    This is cute ???? and it made me laugh and think of a memory…
    My daughter who is now 27 still has a phobia of Clowns and when she came to visits us in France at age 18 we were standing in a small group and the clown chose her to walked up to and put his arm around her and she was dying! ????

  13. What a beautiful piece of art, you’re so talented ;-)

  14. patricia says:

    You set that up perfectly. But good tip about underpainting…

  15. Mim says:

    My first reaction was ” wow, that makes her happy?” ????

  16. Sophia Nguyen says:

    You got me. I thought you had lost your mind XD.

  17. Katriece says:

    You are hilarious!! I love it! I was reading this post seriously, taking notes on how to replicate whatever masterpiece you would likely do, then when I saw the clown it was like the needle scratched on the record. Then I laughed out loud!! You made my day, thank you!!!! : )

  18. Janell says:

    LOL…phew! I am SO glad it’s April Fool’s Day…you had me VERY confused there for a few. Good one!

  19. Danna says:

    I got really scared there for a minute!!!!

  20. Heather says:

    Wow!!! You really had me confused?! I was thinking…. I think Julia is losing it?
    But in the end…. very clever!!!

  21. Tracy G says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! You got me!

  22. Joanna says:

    Oh my gosh… I was really concerned there for a minute hahah

  23. Rebecca says:

    Ha ha ha! Happy April Fool’s Day!

  24. Wendy says:

    Oooh you got me good

  25. Taylor says:

    I normally love everything you do, but clowns terrify me.

  26. Tami says:

    You got me for a second! Haha!

  27. Tara says:

    Had me too— I’ve never once been fooled by John and Sherry’s antics, but I didn’t remember it was 4/1 until the last paragraph. ????

  28. Kelly says:

    Oh you :-P

  29. Noreen says:

    Ha ha, hilarious!!!!

  30. Carrie says:

    Hahahaha! This will probably be my favorite April Fool’s joke of the whole day!

  31. Mandy says:

    Haha! For a split second you had me, and I was shook. ???????? Thanks for being fun and playful and making me laugh. Clowns are so creepy. Have an awesome April Fools!

  32. HANNAH says:

    (At least I hope…Clowns scare me to death!) HA!

  33. Bethany says:

    OMG the video. ????
    I love that all these tips were real and helpful, made the final result even better! ????

  34. Alex says:

    Okay. I was genuinely concerned for a second!

  35. Allison says:

    Ahhhhhh you had me! I was like, Julia is cool and unique but I don’t think I can get on board with this. That’s enough anxiety for the morning for me…. haha

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