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You can easily create beautiful rustic mountain wall art easily with a thrifted sign, plaster, and paints!
I need to go through and finish decorating my house.
My husband and I have lived in this home for over a year, and I have not put up any decor on the walls. I have decorative pieces on my flat surfaces, and they look nice. But I think the whole place would be improved with some rustic wall decor!
I had done a few DIY wall art items and did put some on the stair landing and across from the dining room. However, it’s all still unfinished!
I was walking up the stairwell and decided its time.
It’s time to finish decorating!
Wall Art Collage.
I created a beautiful wall art piece as a DIY for our wedding, and it just fit perfectly in a wall art collage.
I had my husband hang the wall art after I had put together the rough placements of where I wanted everything.
However, once everything was hung up, there was a large gap that was just calling for some more art. But I left it because I didn’t know what to do!
I must have analysis paralysis because I sat thinking about what to put there for months. But I finally got the bug the other day and decided I needed to continue the rustic decor theme and scoured the internet.
There was not much that caught my eye except mountain range pieces. Well, that did not exactly fit what I already had going on.
Until I saw a beautifully textured mountain wall art piece that seemed to be made with plaster.
I was very intrigued.
I was sure I could recreate something along those lines on a beautiful piece of wood.
So, first things first, I went to the thrift store. All good things come from the thrift store!
I found a solid piece of wood I thought would look lovely after getting rid of the vinyl and black paint. I used 80, 120, and 220 grit sandpaper to get rid of the paint.
Whoever created this wooden wall art piece in the first place did not want it ever destroyed because this thing took forever to sand! It had to have had three layers of paint, the vinyl, and a mod podge layer on top.
It took me longer to sand this wood than it did to sand my DIY couch table!
So, after a couple of hours of sanding, I finally got a beautiful smooth finish on my lovely piece of wood.
What I should have done at this point was stain my wood. I had thought of this. But I decided at the last moment that I just wanted to start playing with plaster!
The next problem was I had not actually planned out my mountain design. So, I hopped on Pinterest, found some mountain range photos, and did a rough sketch of the mountains on the wood.
I then took one of my palette knives, swiped through the plaster, and started to create my mountains!
It did take a few minutes to figure out the technique and the look I liked. But, once I figured out the style I liked, I started really laying on the layers quite thick. Slight variations in your mountains and technique will really add character to your mountains and wall art piece as well.
When I decided I was really happy with the piece, I set it aside to dry. It dried to the touch within a couple of hours, but I set it aside for a couple of days to really make sure I wasn’t going to crush the thick areas.
A lovely mountain wood wall art piece for my home!
I do wish I had stained the background so that the mountains popped a little more, and the piece looked more finished, but it’s still a lovely piece!
Something I would definitely do next time is stain the wood before starting to put it on the mountains. I also think coloring the plaster with paint or even doing a flat background with chalk paint and then doing the textured plaster on top would be beautiful as well. I was thinking that a mix of natural wood stains would look absolutely amazing as well.
Redoing the Mountains!
Since we are talking about next time. I actually ended up sanding this piece down and redoing the project.
As I was looking at the piece (on the floor waiting to be hung), I just wasn’t falling in love with it. I kept thinking about how I should have stained the wood in the first place and then done the plaster.
So, I decided to redo it as I was Pinteresting and saw a beautiful loose watercolor mountainscape.
I fell in love and knew that was what I needed to recreate within the power of my own two hands, of course. I am no artist!
After I sanded down the previous plaster, I stained the wood with our lovely grey.
Even after my last project, I still did not get the wiping of the stain off right.
But it still looks good, and that’s all that matters! I colored the wall sparkling with acrylic paint to bring in those lovely muted tones I saw on the mountainscape.
My biggest piece of advice for you is to color the plaster as you go. It dries out quickly, which is a good and bad thing.
Good because it helps to create texture.
Bad because it does stop sticking at some point! It is also important to remember that the more paint you add into the plaster, the thinner it will become.
This is not a terribly big deal unless you are looking for a very thick swipe of plaster. The thinner it is, the more it will liquefy on the wood.
You can wait for the plaster to dry a little and layer it on and still get a thick layer of medium.
After getting the initial mountain, I moved on to the rest of the mountain range. Then onto a hilly forested area and a misty area in the very foreground.
It takes some practice and a lot of mistakes to get what you are looking for. But I always have to remind myself to keep going and keep adding and taking away until I like a painting. More often than not, I tend to stop too early in a project for fear of messing it up!
I am no artist, but here are some tips for creating depth in your art:
- Plan your piece.
There is nothing worse than getting half way through your art only to realize you forgot to put in the sky or the midground. I have done that too many times!
2. Start with your background layer.
This allows you to work tips 5 and 6
3. The layers which are farther away need to be blue-tinted and lighter than your other layers.
This works because as there is more and more atmosphere between you and an object, there is more blue in the tone.
4. As the layers come closer to you in depth, add more yellows and brighter colors with more contrast.
This helps your brain to pull the layer into the foreground.
5. Add more layers. The more layers you add, the more realistic it becomes.
I have never seen a meadow with only one strip of grass…have you?
6. Overlap your foreground onto your background.
This works pretty closely with the last tip. Remember to have each progressive layer in the foreground overlap the previous layer a bit.
Even through all these tips, don’t get discouraged it the piece is not absolutely perfect. You are not a professional realism artist!
Give yourself grace and remember this will add to the beautiful comfort and character of your home.
Not to mention the beauty and memories that come from the experience you had making the piece.
Remember, there are so many variations you could do! I happen to love mountains and adore the land I live in which is surrounded by mountains.
But a lovely landscape with pine trees, a waterfall, or a beach scene would be just as lovely!
You could even find some other raw materials, like a live edge slab or driftwood, and those would make beautiful pieces!
I think it would also make perfect gifts with custom colors that are cheap and easily mass-produced for holiday and birthday gifts.
I will definitely be doing this project again to try out all of these ideas and practice my art skills!
This is such an easy project and uses cheap and easy materials to get a hold of.
Thanks for joining me today, my lovely friend!
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