Last week, I hosted a paint party for the Museum of East Texas along with my friends- Emily, Anita and Susan. The “Girls Night Out Paint Party”, was an auction item for 20 ladies that we donated in support of a museum fundraiser event this last summer. We had such an fun night painting these easy beautiful abstract heart paintings, I wanted to share the tutorial with you guys today (and also share pics of the party).
I was seriously blown away by how amazing the paintings turned out! Each of of the ladies really jumped right in, got creative and as you can see, they really did such a great job.
I wanted to come up with an easy painting for the ladies to do and most importantly, I wanted them to create a something that they would love to hang in their home when they were done. Watching these ladies do it with so much ease, I thought it would be fun to share with you guys because this is a great project for both adults and kids. The possibilities are endless! In fact, one of ladies painted the sweetest heart for her daughter “Elle’s” room in light blush and blues:
Another lady really got her creativity on and painted this gorgeous colorful heart:
My friend Susan, who was so awesome to be my helper with the painting part of the party, painted a fun green and red combination (love the color mix):
I painted this lime green,black and bronze as an example so I could show the ladies what to do each step:
This is a basic acrylic layering technique that could be as abstract or as blended as you would like. Also, keep in mind, you don’t have to do a heart, you could do anything you wanted with this technique. I’m sharing very detailed instructions to walk you through and tons of pictures, so you got this!
These paintings can be done on any size canvas, canvas board, water color paper or even on a notecard for Valentine’s Day. We used a square 20 x 20 canvas for our paint party. You can also see that some of the ladies opted to write a word on the side of the heart like grace, hope, love, etc.. and others decided to leave theirs without any writing. Both look amazing.
So on the the tutorial;
- Begin by choosing your canvas and paint colors. We used a mixture of Basics and Masters Touch acrylic paints found at Hobby Lobby. We also used 20 x 20 square canvases that we ordered from Dick Blick Art. Any size canvas could work for this project. You will also need a medium and small size foam brush and a bigger round brush:
Because the first layer is a color wash, you can either opt for one color like this turquoise first layer:
Or, you could chose 3-4 colors for your first layer wash like this one that Michelle painted that has black, white, turquoise and magenta in the base:
For my sample board today, I am using a 10 x 10 wide gallery wrapped canvas (this is a great size to slip into a bookshelf).
Begin by using your medium size foam brush and put just a little paint on your canvas. If you are using multiple colors, it’s best to go dark to light because you will have a chance later to tweak.
Put just a little paint on the canvas like this below. When you do an acrylic wash, a very small amount of paint goes a long way.
Next, immediately dip the tip of your foam brush into water (not too much water but not too little), and come over your canvas and paint and brush. You can also start adding very small amounts of your next color and just brush up and down. You can continue to slightly add very small amounts of water just on the tip of your brush:
The key to your first layer is to get your base wash on the canvas. You don’t really want to blend the color too much because you’ll just end up making a solid new color. You’ll want to blend it enough to cover wash the canvas but you can still see brush marks.
At this point, add the rest of your paint colors in just swiping them on to the canvas and brushing up and down. Again, in the second layer, you will really tweak your base and enhance, so don’t worry if it’s not what you have envisioned yet 🙂
As you can see above, I didn’t really blend the colors too much I just swiped paint on and added a small amount of water for blending. I just brushed went up and down. I also “glopped” (is that even a word?) paint for fun texture. You do this by adding a small amount of paint to the tip of the brush and drag your brush on the canvas.
Here are some other examples of base washes that the ladies did:
For the second layer, use a hair dryer on cool setting to quickly dry your canvas because it will need to be dry.
Next, take a good look at your base so far and determine what color you need more of but this time, use your narrow small foam brush by adding swipes of your color (no water this time). You can make it abstract by just swiping paint onto the canvas without blending, or you can blend if you like.
You can see below, I just started layering more swipes of all color. I’m going for a more abstract look but if you want your canvas more blended, work a little water into your brushing.
When you get your base to where you want it, dry your canvas again with a hair dryer or wait a couple hours until your canvas dries. If you’re still not where you want to be on your base, you can always come back and add more tweaks when the painting and heart are done. Sometimes that is a great way to better help you see what your painting needs.
Next, cut out a heart the size that you want either on poster board (for larger canvases) or card stock for smaller sizes- to use to trace on a heart. You can do a long and whimsical heart, or a traditional heart and you can place it anywhere you would like on your canvas (lots of possibilities).
Trace your heart with a black sharpie- don’t worry, you will be covering up the marker with paint. Your canvas needs to be completely dry for the sharpie to show up.
After you’ve stenciled your heart onto the canvas, take your large round brush (I think a a big size long round brush works the best on any size canvas) and begin to outline your heart with the color you want on the outside of the heart. It helps to go fast and know that this heart does not have to be perfect and in fact, it looks best messy and using a fast sketching type motion. Like you’re sketching with a pencil:
Just lightly brush around the line of your heart and again, you will come back to this exterior line in just a moment. Next, do a second row of the same color and fill the middle in with a second color like this:
The last step is to lightly swipe white lightly around your heart and add in hints of your other colors. When I say swipe, that means to lightly swipe just a tad of paint with the top of your round brush. You will NOT want to do full pressure of the whole brush.
Don’t panic here! You can’t mess this up, trust me! If you get too much of a color, go back over and swipe it with your main color. For instance, adding white to the edge of my black heart really added contrast but if I swiped too much white, I went over it with black. It’s also fun to blend just a little too (I did that along the outer rim of the heart with black and white to get a little gray).
You can see a different way that I blended a heart and instead of two layers on the base of my heart, I added three to this fun lime green one I did:
When I finished my sample painting, I looked at it closely to see what it needed and I added some light “globs” of white by just add a small amount of white dragging my foam brush in a couple spots:
So there you go! I know I have written a novel here but I really wanted to give you as much information as possible just in case you’ve never painted before, or ran into any problems. It will help for you to look through all of the pictures closely to determine your color combinations, how much blending and heart design. If you have any questions, you can always leave a comment on this post and I’ll be happy to answer 🙂
Ok, so are you gonna try this? It’s so fun and I hope you do! You can so do it!
Thanks for stopping by friends
Lisa @ Shine Your Light says
Cyndy, I love this post – thank you for sharing your techniques! The hair dryer – who knew? Not me. Your paint party sounds like a ton of fun and the heart art is so cute.
Thanks Lisa! Yep, the hair dryer on cool always works like a charm! xo
Great tutorial, Cyndy. Going to suggest this for a party at my church. Thank you so much! Blessings, Karen
Thanks Karen! This was a very fun (and easy) group project to do and the ladies just loved it but still had plenty of time to gab and catch up. Keep me posted if you guys decide to do it and send me a pic 🙂 Thanks for your note!
I love this and plan to do it for my Valentine’s kitchen art. More of these please. Would like to have a cute Spring painting. Thanks so much
Thanks for your note Sarah! Yes! More painting coming up in the next year. One of my goals this year is to share more art painting projects. 🙂
Mary S says
I picked up a couple of canvases at my local Goodwill and your or step by step techniques will let me get started on something with them! The hearts are so cute! Thanks!
Thank you Mary and I’m so excited for you to get started on yours! It’s so fun to do and the color possibilities are endless! Thanks for your note 🙂
This is so cute! I’m anxious to try this and give to my 16 year old daughter! Did you paint the name (If so what brush did you use) or did you use some type of permanent marker?
Thanks for the info.
Love these! Going to have a group of ladies do this!
What did you use to do the writing of words “love”, “grace”?
Thanks for this I can wait to try it , but can this be modified to fit it in one setting, or do we have to allow all of they drying time, because I want to do this at a birthday party with only about a 2 or 3 hour span of time
Thank you for this posting! I’ve been looking for some canvas art projects to do at home and your direction was perfect!
I have several latex wall paints left over and wondered if they would work. What do you think?
I have 75 minutes to do a project with a group of teen girls… do you think this would be doable?
Would be a fantastic project to do with teen girls! Our big group did it in about the same amount of time. Have fun!
kelly polizzi says
wow i think this one might even work for me! im going to give it a try. please do more! Thanks 🙂
Thank you so much for this tutorial. It is by far the best I have come across so far. I am a newbie so I very much appreciate the details and all the pictures to reference as I move along. I’m so excited I’m literally going to do this right now! Thank you so much
Thanks for detailed information.Can big broad brushes give the same effect as the sponge brush?
Thank you for the detailed steps and pictures of your tutorial. I don’t leave many comments however this deserves a high five. I’m trying to get out of my comfort zone in regards to what I usually create .( I am just so critical of myself ) Thanks again.
Great to see all the different art work you inspired! Really appreciated your step by step tutorial along with pictures. Hoping you will continue to post more!! Thanks again.
this was a really beautiful idea and i am pleased you had so much fun for a good cause. i would love to steal your idea, perhaps with another theme, and host a paint party to aid our koala rescue here in rural Queensland. thank you for sharing. Good luck and stay safe
Regina L Smith says
I’m so glad that I found this! I’ve been painting for about a month now and I wondered how to get the colorful wash colors. Thank you so much for your knowledge and sharing! Xo.
You’re welcome! Thanks for your kind comments! Enjoy painting! Cyndy
Leticia Guzman says
What paint brush would one use if we want to write a word on the side of the heart?
Janine Bishop says
Love it!!! Grateful for all of the information you included. How did you get such impeccable cursive names beside the heart? Did you use a stencil? I’m afraid that’s where I would ruin it after all my hard work. But I love this for my daughters wall and have it match her bedding!
Love, love, love this art activity thank you for all the detailed info.