DIY Abstract Art

Do you have a sad, bare wall in need of some cheering up in the form of colorful art?  Is buying original art out of you current budget?  Would you enjoy a no mess, almost instantly gratifying, and creative project for you and/or your kids.  Yes?  Well, then do I have a fun and easy project for you!

Here is how to create an original abstract “painting” on canvas without, talent, technique, or artist’s materials!

I am not an abstract artist but I really enjoy it.  I love the experimental nature of it and when you eliminate the representational aspect from paintings you can enjoy the elements of color and composition without the subject matter competing.  For me it’s kind of like closing my eyes outside and being able to hear so much more without being distracted by the visual.

Getting started…

You will need a basic drawing program on your computer (I use PowerPoint), an account with Snapfish, and an inspirational art piece to reference.  Here are some abstract pieces and artists to get you started…

Paul Klee, a Swiss artist born in 1879.

Frederick Hammersley, an American painter born in 1919.

Josef Albers, a German abstract painter born in 1888.

Spencer Finch, an American artist born on 1962.  I love the overlapping and depth created in this installation sculpture of translucent acrylic pieces.  This is the piece I used as inspiration.

Feel free to use one of these pieces and/or artists or explore and choose your own.  I recently learned about a great online resource for art called the Google Museum Project from Artchoo.  Check it out!

Here’s how…

  1. Start by opening a new document in PowerPoint and sizing it to 12 X 12 in page setup under the design tab.  You may choose a different size but stick with Snapfish’s size options.
  2. Next create your art, inspired by your reference image using shapes under the main home tab.  You can experiment with changing color, outline, and other shape effects like shadows, soft edge, and 3D rotation.
  3. Once you are happy with your finished art, save it as a PFD file and open the PDF file in Gimp (a free Photoshop like program) at 300 dpi.  In Gimp save it as a jpeg.
  4. Now you are ready to upload it to Snapfish for printing on canvas.  The canvas prints are a little pricey ($45 for 12 X 12 compared to $10 for 12 X 18 poster) but so cool and you don’t have to frame them!

Canvas print 12x12
Click on this image to go to 12 X 12 inch canvas print product page at Snapfish.

Other printed canvas sizes available with prices…

  • 8×8 for $29.99
  • 8×10 for $34.99
  • 16×16 for $62.99
  • 16×20 for $79.99
  • 20×24 for $99.99

Is it a lot of money?  Yes, but you are talking about YOUR original art here!

I think this project would be great in conjunction with a room makeover.  You could coordinate with your new color palette!  It would also make a nice gift, don’t you think?

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What do you think of abstract art?  Do you have a favorite artist?  Please share!


I'm a practical mom inspired by nature & I enjoy sharing ideas that encourage kids' innate curiosity & creativity. Interested in subscribing? Check out the blue box at the top of my sidebar. I'm also a wannabe author/illustrator & product designer by day. Let's connect! If you purchase through my Amazon links I get a small commission at no additional cost to you (thanks for supporting Doodles and Jots)! And remember to always credit your source here & elsewhere on the internet.


  1. Oh … ! Fun! I’ve often thought about printing on canvas some of my favorite photographs .. so much less $$ than buying certain art …

    Monet is my favorite, and I absolutely agree, these would make wonderful gifts.
    Larissa T. recently posted..Jobs, Dreams, Passions.My Profile

    • Cool! Mark Rothko as inspiration would work great with this. In PowerPoint you could make large shapes and play with color, transparency, and soft edge. And thanks for Stumbling!

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