If you’ve been following our Get Crafty series, you know that we like to keep it simple. But simple doesn’t have to be drab. We asked Lish Dorset of Handmade Detroit to help us with a project reflecting the first Cinquecento’s clean, mid-century design and the vibrancy of the current FIAT® 500 lineup’s color palette. That project? Canvas colorblock wall art!
“Henry Bertoia was a major power player in mid-century design, and he actually had roots in both Italy and the United States, like FIAT,” Dorset said.
“We frequently forget to give the creative part of our brains the benefit of doubt they deserve, but this project pays tribute to everyone’s inner artist and the easy mid-century modern,” Dorset said.
To get started, you’ll need…
- Stretched canvases in a variety of sizes (try your local art supply or craft stores)
- Acrylic craft paint (our choices reflected old favorites, such as Rosso red, and new standouts, like Rame orange)
- Foam brushes, medium and small size
- Painter’s tape
For the smaller canvases, draw a diagonal line down the center of your canvas. Place a piece of painter’s tape on one half to protect as you paint the other half. Once the paint has dried, move the tape to that half and paint the other half.
For larger canvases, try experimenting with the shapes and sizes. On this canvas we focused on one large blocked area paired with a smaller area.
On larger canvases, apply the paint directly to the surface in one thin layer. Once the first coat dries, look to see if a second coat is needed or if spots need to be touched up.
Canvases don’t always have to be white to start with. You can paint them a base color of your choice or choose a linen-based fabric canvas, like the one we chose in a Grigio-esque grey.
With a bolder base, we focused on basic shapes central to mid-century design – think straight lines, triangles, circles, or rectangles, similar to this one in Giallo yellow.
We also used cookie cutters to create shapes to paint in with small brushes.
Once your paintings are dry, find a wall space large enough to house them all together. Stand back to admire your artistic achievement and the sleek mid-century flair you’ve brought to your newly artsy space!
Did you take a crack at creating your own wall art? Tell us about your experience and link to your photos in the comments below!