If you can draw dots and dashes and can hold a paintbrush you’re well on your way to making brushstrokes on glass with this simple abstract art tutorial!
Just the other day I realized that I have been in my house over 7 months. That seems so crazy to me because it has flown by. And that seems even crazier that it’s felt like the blink of an eye because, like everyone else, I’ve been spending the vast majority of the last 4 months in isolation. And here’s the thing… living by myself was a HUGE fear for me. It’s not like I’d spent the last several years living with some big, brave hero or anything. In fact it was just the opposite. But if something happened I wouldn’t have to suffer it alone.
I’m terrible with change and so a new house, suddenly living 100% alone, in an area where I only know my parents was HARD. At first I tried to nest to make it feel like my own. But I realized that I was forcing it. I was purchasing things I didn’t really like that I didn’t hang on the walls because I didn’t know where to put them. So I just stopped bothering.
And then, just the other night as I was walking through my house in the complete dark, flipping on a switch without having to put my hand out to scan the wall to find it, I’m home.
And that means it’s time to start decorating!
In the past I’ve had a very, very colorful home. And I loved it. But it reminds me of not so fabulous times. And so I’m trying to refine my colorful and eclectic tastes by having pops of bright colors surrounded by a lot of beige and white. But one place where I’m still going all out is my craft room / office.
This room is where I get creative. Where I come up with new ideas for projects for this blog. And this room deserves some color. This room deserves rainbows :) And with with 6 bare walls I’ve got LOTS of space to fill. Finding some seriously inexpensive picture frames in one of my many home grocery deliveries I decided to make some of my own DIY glass abstract art.
And once I made my 3 pieces with a rainbow of colors I found that I enjoyed this DIY painting technique so much that I made 2 other sets for a total of 9 pieces total. Today I’m super pleased to share with you this abstract art tutorial because it’s so easy to do and the results are so amazing. And because you’re painting on glass, if you don’t like it you can scrape it away and start all over again!
How to Make Your Own Brushstrokes on Glass Abstract Art
You might not consider yourself an artist but I bet you can make some pretty darn awesome glass abstract art! Ready to get after it?
- Picture Frames with Glass (I used these Format Frames)
- Acrylic Paints in 4-7 Complementary Colors
- Soft Bristled Paintbrush
- Gold Paint Marker
- White Paint Marker
- Razor Blade Scraper for Glass
- Isopropyl Alcohol (Optional but Helpful)
Though they look different I’m linking to the same format frames I’m using. I bought some from my local Walmart. When they worked well I bought more in bulk from walmart.com. The photos on the website showed the Mainstays branded photo frames but I received the MCS branded ones. So the paper inside of them looks different but they are the same. They’re cheap but don’t look it. They’re perfect for this project. It’s also convenient you can buy them in store at Walmart (if you’re up for that)
Acrylic Paint Color Ideas:
Rainbow is a lot of fun for this project, if your home decor can take it! (Colors: Martha Stewart Satin Paint Colors: Banana, Blue Calico, Snow Pea, Camellia Pink, Peacock Feather, Love Bird, Pink Dahlia)
Or go with similar colors for a serene but still fun look. (Martha Stewart Satin Paint Colors: Indigo, Blue Calico, Peacock Feather, Celadon, Wedding Cake)
Cleaning the Glass:
So the paint will fully adhere to the glass you will need to clean it first…
Carefully remove the glass from your photo frame. If available, clean both sides of the glass with Isopropyl Alcohol. Though I have not seen alcohol in a store for AGES I have been able to find Isopropyl Alcohol wipes at the pharmacy. If alcohol is not available vinegar is a good alternative.
DIY Painted Glass Abstract Art Tutorial:
Using your gold and white paint markers paint a flourish of dots, crosses, xs, or other simple shapes in a flourish. If you don’t care for the design, use a razor blade glass scraper to remove the paint and try again. Allow the paint a few minutes to fully dry.
Note * If your paint is not adhering well try cleaning the glass with something that degreases (alcohol, vinegar, all-purpose cleaner, etc) and trying again once the glass is fully dry.
If making a multiple DIY abstract paintings you can work on several at a time to ensure they match well.
Select your craft acrylic paint colors and grab a soft bristled brush. (If you need help with color selection, try browsing palettes at Colour Lovers for some inspiration.)
Starting with your first color, apply a heavy-handed brushstroke that somewhat follows the shape of your flourish of gold and white shapes.
While the paint is still wet, continue adding brushstrokes that mimic the shape of the flourish. Overlap colors, allow the paint to go streaky, it’s abstract so it doesn’t have to be perfect! And if it DOES have to be perfect, wait until it dries, scrape it off and start all over again!
As you continue to fill the space with brushstrokes be mindful of colors that will work well together. If you want to place 2 colors side by side that don’t mix well (red and green make brown) wait until one of them dries before painting the next color beside it. Continue filling the space as much as you please. I went for full coverage but you can have empty negative space if you’d like…
Allow the paint time to dry. If any areas are not covered well or are too transparent for your liking, apply another coat in those areas. Allow, again to dry.
Framing Your Glass Abstract Art
Once you’re sure that your paint is mostly dry you’re ready to pop the glass back into its frame!
Place the glass unpainted side down on a piece of white cardstock and trace around it and cut it out. Place the paper on the back (painted) side of the art and carefully pop the glass and paper into the frame.
Note * Alternatives (among many) for cardstock include a thinner white paper + cardboard, posterboard, mat board, foam core…
Once framed use the glass scraper to remove any paint that managed to dry on the front of the glass.
(optional) Trace the gold designs on the top side of the framed glass. These shapes don’t have to match up perfectly, even offset you get a fun 3D pop with the extra layer of paint.
Note * My paintings are hung in my office where the only cleaning they will need is a dusting here and there. If you’re hanging these someplace they might get dirty, I’d suggest sealing with polyurethane so the paint won’t be removed with household cleaners. The gold IS difficult to remove once fully dry, but I imagine over time it would create a less than desirable look.