How to Paint with Diverse Colors & Display Your Work


Going to the effort of finishing off an artwork with a custom frame or painting wrapped edges on a canvas is about the LAST thing I want to do after painting something. I hammer a nail on the wall (or two if it absolutely cannot be avoided), hang it straight, and give myself a gold star. The beauty of that kind lack of work ethic is that it fosters a necessary tendency to find the easiest way to do anything and still make it presentable... Here's a simple project for anyone who can relate with that, or just wants something cute and semi-custom quick. You'll  also get a bonus succulent painting tutorial with some little color secrets thrown in!

All you'll need are:

  • 4 wood slats (these are 12 inches long and found in any craft store)
  • Canvas paper, which is just treated cloth (this one's 9" x 12")
  • Paint supplies (paint, brushes, pallet [ice cream lids accepted], container of water)
  • Twine or yarn
  • Hot glue gun


Start out by lightly drawing circles with pencil that roughly outline where your succulents will go. Try to get some variety in diameter and let it be somewhat random. This is a low-risk step so experiment all you need before you like the composition. Remember, the smaller your circles, the more you'll have to paint. smiley


Now get painting! I used the same small, angled brush throughout the whole thing; they tend to be the most versatile. I started on the smaller succulents and gave them a nice vibrant color. HINT: Load your brush with two different colors of paint at once. I used peach and magenta for these.


I painted with sky blue and medium yellow for the larger succulent. The two colors really add a lot more interest to it!



As you can see, I painted three different colored succulents in different hues (the purple-ish ones were magenta and sky blue, so I basically only used four colors for the whole first step). Let it dry a bit, then add some shading and highlights! This takes some concentration but really makes it look complete, especially that large green monster blotch. HINT: Don't use black for shading. Use violet or a similar deep purple - it looks more natural and doesn't get as out of control as black does. 


Let it completely dry, then you're ready for putting it all together! We are so close..


Glue one wood slat to the bottom back edge. Watch your heart rate because working with hot glue requires some coursing river-like swiftness.


After the 0.002 seconds it takes to dry, glue the front slat onto the bottom front edge. I actually spilled some wayward molten glue on the painting itself trying to take this picture, but it's a sacrifice I must make.


Glue the third wood slat to the top back edge. Then cut about six inches of twine, place it as center as you can at the top, then glue the last slat on top of it. Push down HARD so it all adheres together well. This seriously turned into a workout. Who said artists are lazy?? I guess I indirectly did at the beginning of this, but obviously I meant "resourceful."

Now hang that sucker UP. Drink some water and don't forget to stretch before the next project.