Friday, January 20, 2012

Painted Branch Canvas DIY

I did two paintings on canvas last year, one of which has sold, and the other is going to be on Etsy at some point. This is created with freehand painting, and acrylic paint. Here is the step by step.

I purchased the canvas at Hobby Lobby, after waiting until canvas went on sale 50% off! The rest is just paint, and if you buy a canvas with a deep side panel, you can simply paint the sides and avoid the cost of a frame.

I chose three colors of green; an apple green, a medium foliage green, and a very light yellow green. I applied this with a slip-slap technique . . . basically making small X shapes on the canvas. I used a 1" Flat Brush, and I kept the paint wet as I blended. I'm a very experienced painter, so if you are not, you can start by basecoating your canvas with the medium color, and then using the other colors and a blending medium to get this blended background effect. Just always keep your brush moving, and keep the area you are working on wet with paint.

Next, using a Damask design stencil and Satin Varnish, I applied this design over the paint. It is a very subtle, but effective, background technique. I use it often, and it never fails to get positive comments. By adding shine, you are not adding another color element,you are adding texture and shine to make the background pop.

Next, I freehand painted these branches using a large Round Brush, and then shaded the lower edge with a darker shade of brown. This isn't an uber realistic painting approach, so don't worry about perfection, just get it on!

Next, I painted freehand blobs in the shape of flowers (a center and petals or a bud) around the branches. I used a very light yellow with a 3/4" Filbert Brush. Keep the pattern random.

Next I used a light green foliage color to add leaves on the "lower" side of the blossoms. I used a 3/4" Filbert brush to paint these.

Next, with a 1/2" Flat brush, I added in centers, using a Peach color paint, and I painted it some shading around the bottom of the branches and blossoms using the Medium green background color and a 1" Flat brush. 

Next, I added a white highlight to the top of the blossoms with a 1/2" Flat brush. 

I added shading and detail to the leaves with a 1/2" Flat brush. 

With a Liner brush, add some swirling vines around the flowers clusters. (See close up below.)

The final step is to apply varnish with a Round Brush, just to the branch and flower design. (If you added it to the entire canvas, you would lose the background design we applied with varnish before painting the branches.)

Here is a close up of the flowers and branches.

Here is the final canvas.

This is the second canvas I painted with a blue background.

Find this project here:



  1. What beautiful paintings! I can't wait to try them. Really enjoying reading your blog and look forward to all your future posts! I am one of your new loyal followers! When you have a chance come on by and check out my blog (and make sure to say hi!). If you like my blog, I would love it if you would follow me back! Cath @ Home is Where my Heart is:

  2. Beautiful blossoms and branches! Thanks for stopping by my blog and following me, I'm following you back! Have a great weekend. :-)

  3. You paint beautifully!! Thank you for stopping by my blog from Social Parade and now I'm following you back. I look forward to seeing more of your work.

    Have a great weekend!!


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