Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Japanese Cherry Blossom Wall Art

In honor of spring and because I watch the Apprentice, I've been inspired to make some Japanese Cherry Blossom wall art. How do I go from spring to the apprentice you might ask? Well, as a secret fan of Donald Trump's Apprentice, I happened to catch a glimpse of a painting on the wall in the very first episode. Sometimes things that I like stick with me for days and this painting was no exception. It was a Japanese cherry blossom painting on a gold background and in the three seconds it appeared on screen, I found myslef unable to take my eyes off of it. My wheels began turning and I thought "how can I simply reproduce that painting to hang on my wall?" 

I had two little pieces of laminate shelving left over from a TV cabinet. These two pieces of crappy plastic wood needed to be put to good use. They were perfect for a little Japanese inspired wall art.

I'm going to walk you through this like a tutorial, because even thought it's a painting project and some people can feel a little intimidated by "painting projects" I really feel that anyone who can grip a paint brush in their hand could do this project if you follow these steps. Even if you attempt it and hide it in a closet or throw it away, I think you'll be surprised at how easily it can be done.

First I started with blank surfaces; my crappy plastic wood. Paint always works better when it has something to grip to. You know this from painting your walls. Primer Primer Primer! Artists do this with Gesso, a white paint like substance that helps paint stick to the surface your canvas. However, if you buy white canvas, chances are they were treated with gesso already. If you do get canvas check to see if they were treated with gesso. If they were, you can skip this step.

After the gesso completely dried, I painted the background gold. Any gold will do as there are many different kinds of acrylic golds out there. I used plain old classic gold.
Once again these panels were allowed to dry, this time overnight.

The next day, I planned where I was going to place the tree branches. I wanted the two panels to look like they were flowing into each other, so I drew it out with pencil and them traced over the pencil lines with black marker.
When I had committed to a design I liked, I painted over the lines with black acrylic paint.
While the paint was still wet I added some tan acrylic paint. I added this very loosely. I tried to keep the lighter color on one side of the branch. In other words, if I painted the right side of one branch I did it on every branch. This gives the impression of a light source.
In keeping the lines loose and simulating a light source, it adds dimension to the branches. The final touch to the branches was a touch of white over top of the tan just to help it POP a little more.

Next I took a small round brush and made white flower petals. While the petals were still wet I added a touch of dark pink and blended from the center to the ends of each petal. I created five petaled flowers and some buds too (simply a dab of the brush.)
I spread them out here and there...where ever I wanted!
From the free floating flowers I added skinny little stems. I also added some of these skinny stems to the branches without flowers.
After I was finished  the first panel, I moved on to the second. I did this in case my drawing was altered in the painting process. Completing the panels one at a time will keep the panels flowing.

Once again here is the finished product.Now I just have to find a place to hang them!


  1. You're so much fun! Even after you showed all the steps and made it look super easy, I know I would never be able to paint something like that. But for you, it's just a fun afternoon project :) And it looks gorgeous - nice job! I love how you reuse things too...nothing goes to waste around your house, does it? At least no piece of wood does :)

  2. LOL! I do have a lot of wood scraps in the basement!! And if you ask my husband he'd say I do waste a lot of electricity...I hate the dark.

  3. These are beautiful. Such a simple idea to make it two pieces but super artsy. I'm definitely going to give it a try!
    thanks for sharing!

  4. These are so lovely! I am so impressed you did these yourself. So glad I came across your blog. I'm a new follower.

  5. Wowzers! When I first saw your post I was wondering where you purchased those paintings. Can't believe you painted them yourself! You go girl. I'm here from Kim's party and I'm your newest follower!

  6. I love your blog. You are so creative. I loved the way you recycled simple objects and turn them into beautiful pieces of art. And i can tell you have a great sense of humor. So i really enjoyed reading the blog. Thanks for all the awesome ideas. I will definitely try to recreate some of them myself.

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  8. I love this!!!!!! It is truly so beautiful and simple- AND I have always wanted to paint cherry blossoms on a wall and simply didn't have the inspiration to try! Thanks for sharing- I have pinned your website to my wall- I will be visiting it regularly...God bless you as you raise that little one and share with others!!

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