Abstract Paint Splattering 101

Abstract Paint Splattering 101

Posted by DecoArt on Sep 15th 2015

I, Carrie, am a bit of a modern art fanatic. I've always been particularly drawn to the abstract movement when artists would fling their paint at large scale canvases, I think because the chaotic application of medium allows for so much subjective interpretation. No two people will see the same thing in those haphazard dots and splashes of color! 
Since I'm no professional painter by any stretch of the word, I decided to try my hand at a simple DIY abstract paint splatter shoe project so that I could get the look on a small scale, but with all of the fun and intrigue still intact. Although you can get the full breakdown on my blog, Dream Green DIY, I'm sharing an in-depth look at my splattering technique right here on the DecoArt blog. Keep reading for details.

Items Needed:

  • Paint Brush


For this project, I used a set of DecoArt Americana Multi-Surface Satin Paints, in Soft Jade, Flamingo, Chick, and Lavender Fields. One important thing to keep in mind when working on a paint splatter project is your color scheme. By choosing hues that are distinctly, well...distinct, you won't run into an issue with the splatters blending together and getting lost visually. I chose to run with two cooler colors (a shade of purple and of green) and two warmer colors (yellow and pink) so that my finished paint splatters felt layered and intentional.

Instruction Image #1

My particular paint splatter technique relies on a liquid base to the paint, so a glass of tap water is a must. As I mentioned in the full how-to on my blog, you'll want to first lay your shoes out on a piece of scrap paper, and then dip your thick bristle brush into the first color of paint and then the water. Allow the excess water to drip off into the water glass and then bring the brush right down to the sides of the shoes. Next, place your fingertip on the side of the brush closest to the shoe, and then run it over the bristles so that the bristles spring back towards the shoe. This motion, coupled with the water mixing with the paint pigments, will create a fluid propulsion of color from the paint brush to the canvas shoe.

Instruction Image #2

You'll be able to somewhat control the splatters by angling the brush one way or the other, but it's important to go into a paint splatter project not expecting perfection. The random pattern created by the wild splatters is what gives this technique its special edge, so embrace the large drips and the small ones, the thick paint splatters and the thin ones. In the end, the layers of color will give life and personality to your work, whether it's an art canvas or pair of canvas shoes!

Instruction Image #3

Would you give this DIY painting technique a try? Have you mastered the art with a different process? The wonderful thing about paint splattering is that there are multiple ways to achieve that tell-tale abstract look. To see the full how-to tutorial for these easy DIY Abstract Paint Splatter Shoes, hop over to my blog, Dream Green DIY.

Instruction Image #4