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    Hey there! I'm Amanda and I'll be your co-pilot today. Along with my handy husband, Ben, we're remodeling our second house. We're avid DIY-ers, tackling large and small projects while raising two rambunctious boys. Thanks for following along on this wild journey!
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Weekend Painting: Custom Artwork

After spray painting a new magnet board for Vincent, I started creating a painting for our main bathroom.  I looked in our garage and found a 13 inch by 31 inch scrap of 1/2 inch thick MDF.  I really wanted something that was 12 by 36, but it was close enough.  After a quick cleaning, I applied a coat of primer to all sides. 

This is going in our bathroom, and I don’t want the MDF to swell in the humidity.  Priming and painting all sides will seal the MDF, preventing any swelling.

I was inspired by the shadow of leaves the afternoon sun casts on the walls in our house, so I went out to take a picture of our tree. 

After my primer and white paint dried, I began drawing leaves onto my ‘canvas’, using my photo as a guide.  I lightly drew some of the leaves with pencil.  Some areas where the leaves are more clustered together were difficult to recreate, so I took artistic freedom and drew some leaves as I liked.  After 10 minutes or so, I had half of my template complete.

I mixed up a custom ‘greige’ color using a small amount of black, tons of white and some yellow.  Then I started carefully filling everything in.

It was a little time-consuming, taking about one and a half hours, but I actually doing things like this.  Call me crazy, but I’d rather spend an hour or so creating free art than buying something.  Now we have a custom, one of a kind piece of art in our bathroom.

I like the long, rectangular shape and size.  It definitely makes more of a statement than the smaller items that were there before. 

How many of you make your own art?  Whether it’s a painting, drawing or something else.  Do share!  I would love inspiration!!

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  1. Amanda

     /  August 13, 2010

    Looks beautiful! I love the color!

  2. I love this! You are super talented. I may try this out, but I’m afraid my freehand of the leaves would be a little shaky! The color is perfect. I just did a post on my (new!) blog today about a DIY picture frame that I made to spruce up the wall of my little sister’s new dorm room! Let me know what you think! It definitely involves craft skills with less talent (cutting, gluing, etc!) but I think it’s a step in the right direction :)

  3. Lorie Smith

     /  August 13, 2010

    Wow, that is beautiful! I want one!!! I try to make my own artwork (whenever possible), but it doesn’t look anything like this. WOW again, I love it.

  4. ourhumbleabowed

     /  August 13, 2010

    Thanks! I don’t know if I’ll add more leaves to make it look more like a shadow, but I love it for now!


    I’d love to make one for you! I do create custom art, so if you’re interested, send me an e mail to ourhumbleabowed@gmail.com

  5. tellerallaboutit

     /  August 13, 2010

    This is awesome!!! My only attempt at painting involved me just using leftover paints, but I admit I like yours a LOT!


  6. so, so pretty! reminds me of Marimekko fabric!

    my kids make all sorts of beautiful art that we use all over the place…

    here’s my not-yet-finished, needs-to-be painted, office, with of my fav. kid-created artwork:


    I guess I made the quilt on the wall, if that counts!

  7. looks great! i always have plans to do something like this but i can never nail down an inspiration!

  8. Jamie Severt

     /  August 14, 2010

    Amanda, you are amazing! How do you even think of these things!? You have inspired me. Once we move into our new base housing, I am gonna try my hand at some artwork.

    Keep all your ideas coming girl!!!

  9. This is beautiful, great job!

  10. This is very pretty – I agree, it’s nicer to make your own art, or buy someone elses homemade art if you are not very artistic * unfortunately I fall into this category*

  11. EM

     /  August 16, 2010

    I am thoroughly impressed!! I am not good at freehanding… do you have any recommendations? Like a template? Thanks! LOVE your blog by the way :)

    • ourhumbleabowed

       /  August 16, 2010

      Thanks, everyone!

      EM, one recommendation I can give is to choose natural items to recreate. Leaves are so simple because they really can’t not look like a leaf. Everything in nature is perfectly imperfect, so you can’t go wrong. And, just focus on one small part at a time. You’ll notice my painting isn’t an exact match of the inspiration photo, but it gets the point across.


  12. that looks amazing!

  13. You did such a good job on that painting! I wish I was artistic like that! And the placement in the bathroom is absolutely perfect.

  14. I LOVED your idea to paint leaf silhouettes for a custom art piece! I just hope my hands are steady when I attempt my own! I featured you here.

    • ourhumbleabowed

       /  August 18, 2010

      Hi Aimee,

      Thanks so much!! I would love to see your version when it’s done!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  15. Hi, just linked over from House of Smiths. Love your blog & I’ll have to come back when I have more time. That dining room is AWESOME!

    Warmly, Michelle

    • ourhumbleabowed

       /  August 19, 2010

      Hi Michelle,

      We’re glad you found us! Please do come back again :-) Thanks for your sweet compliment, too!


  16. I love it, great job! So crisp and professional!

    There is nothing better than making your own art, I make mine by framing my own drawings/paints and by using used wine corks, coins from my travels, antique keys and lots more with the help of cheap dollar store frames/shadow boxes and high end fabrics and wallpapers collected throughout my interior design jobs. You can check out my art on my blog Inspire Bohemia if you’d like:
    My Shadow Box coin art:
    My Shadow Box wine cork art (I call them “Shadow Corks” hehe):

    Thanks for sharing, I am your newest follower! :)

    Inspire Bohemia

  17. Wow! Awesome art. I made these ruffly wreaths about nine months ago. I still smile every time I look at them!


  18. Wow – I LURVE that!!! So gorgeous! Looks great on that shelf too!

  19. We love this party link and I wanted to let you know that we are planning on featuring it. We hope that you get a bunch of new visitors.


  20. That is beautiful!!

  21. Totally loving this art!!! It’s just amazing and so chic! I’d love to have you as a friend at Frou Frou Decor! I’d also like to invite you to link your wonderful creations up at my weekly party, Fabulous Friday Finds, every Friday! Hope to see you there!
    ~Terrell @ Frou Frou Decor~

    • ourhumbleabowed

       /  September 8, 2010

      Hi Terrell,

      Thanks so much! I just became a follower of your blog! It’s great! I’ll be sure to link up on Friday.


  22. Inspiring! I’ve been looking for a piece for above the fireplace and something like this would look wonderful. THANX

  23. I LOVE this! I think I’m inspired for a housewarming gift for my sister in law! I did a piece of [simple] art to hang above our mantel… it’s the second half of this post http://madeitonmonday.blogspot.com/2010/09/easy-wall-art.html

  24. This is very good work indeed! Excellent blog and a good find. It is very important to support local art, particullary duing difficult econmic times. This is a short blog as to Why we / everyone should support local art. “the best gifts are by local artists” http://blog.sidestreetstudio.com/wood/10-reasons-why-you-should-buy-local-arts-crafts/

  25. I’m artistic and creative and ask my self “Why can’t I come up with an idea like this?” This is so cute. I have plenty of art that I want to put up on my walls and some ideas but I just have to get on that. I have way too many projects going on at the same time. This is very cute. :)

  26. majid khan

     /  January 29, 2013

    I LOVE this


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