Monday, April 27, 2015

Minimalist Botanicals (DIY Wall Art)

Last week involved a convoluted series of events in which I was working from home, had to flee my apartment for 2 hours to move my car to avoid the street sweepers because thanks to construction there are zero parking spots these days, so I had to find a coffee place with a parking lot, and next door to this coffee place with a parking lot was a Michael's, where they had a huge display out front of 3 for 1 canvases.

Naturally, I couldn't resist. Inside, I also found a giant pack of tissue paper. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it, but I figured at the very least my present wrapping needs would be taken care of for years. With some very long winded googling, I found a few pieces of inspiration: this one, and this one.

Still not sure what to do,  armed with canvas, tissue paper, and glossy ModPodge, I took a kind of aimless approach, and took one sheet of each color of paper and cut some large-ish petals (those were ultimately used in the red flower). I sorted them by color, and started messing around.

Before doing any gluing (mod-podging) I laid each of them out. This was really hard- I had use something to nudge them into place, and if I exhaled too hard, tissue paper went everywhere! I ended up taking pictures with my phone anytime I got something i liked, just so I could recreate it.

The important thing to remember is that the tissue becomes quite transparent, so you can't plan to have a light colored petal on top of a dark one and expect to see it (I learned this by practicing first on a piece of paper). That's why the outer pink petals are light and the top yellow lotus flowers are light. Once I had figured out the layout, I took everything off, and then one at a time put ModPodge on the canvas, and then again on top of each leaf. Be VERY gentle, if the tissue rips it is a real pain to get it off.

You can see my workspace, complete with most of the season of Walking Dead playing in the background. Nothing sets off floral art work like some disemboweled zombies.

Here are closeups of each one. The purple was the hardest, getting everything spaced out, but I think it's my favorite. I wish the yellow flower was a bit darker at the top, but I like it as well other than a few wrinkles that slipped in. Something about the way the tissue paper is so thin really makes the leaves look like they're almost painted on.

Now to find a place to hang them!

This could really be done with almost anything - these are, loosely a lotus, lilacs, and a dahlia. Give it a try!

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