How To Make an Ombre Heart Painting

Apartment Therapy Tutorials

Here's a quick and fun art project that takes less than an hour to complete and came in at under $10! I was looking for a way to add some more color to my daughter's room, without resorting to buying yet another thing, when this little heart canvas came about.

These little pre-stretched canvases are so convenient, and the stretcher bars make for easy hanging. I've accrued quite a collection of 2 oz acrylic paints. They're available in so many fun colors and I always come away with a few more after visiting the craft store.

Materials List:
8" stretched canvas ($3.74 online at Joann Fabrics right now)
Martha Stewart Satin Acrylic Craft Paint 2 oz- Geranium, White, and Party Streamer (Hot Pink) currently $1.39 ea.
Plastic container for paint mixing
Scissors, pencil, sheet of paper/cardstock
I painted the background with a slight ombre effect. I began by mixing the middle ground color.
1. To mix the paint, first add about 1 tbsp of white paint and, to that, add 1 drop each of the pink/geranium paints until you build up the color. It doesn't take more than a drop or two.

Tip: Remember, the paint will dry a bit darker than it appears when first applied, so take that into account when mixing your color.

2. Using the foam brush, apply the paint with a sweeping motion in both directions. Continue sweeping the brush all over the canvas until no wet blotches of paint remain.

Tip: Don't worry about being precise, focus instead on getting good coverage on the top, as well as the sides of the canvas.

3. Let the canvas sit for 5 minutes, it should still be a bit wet when you create the gradient effect.

Add some white paint on one side of your palette and geranium/ pink paint on the other side. Paint the top of the canvas with the white paint, sweeping it from one side of the canvas to the other, continuing the color on the sides of the canvas. Only apply the white paint at the top, working it into the middle color. Do the same with the geranium/ pink mixture. It doesn't have to be perfect. Allow the brush strokes to show.

Allow the canvas to dry for at least 30 minutes.
5. Fold a piece of craft paper or cardstock in half and cut out a heart shape, such that both sides will be identical. Open up the shape and continue to cut until you're happy with the result. The finished heart should be between 5-6" wide.
6. Lay the shape over your canvas and trace it lightly with a pencil.

Tip: Lightly hold in place with blue painter's tape if necessary.

7. Now that you have your shape drawn in, it's time to paint your heart! I achieved the color below by mixing approximately 3 parts hot pink with 1 part geranium color paint. Lie the brush on its side and color in the outline first.

8. I only used one coat of paint, so it did have a "painterly" effect, but if you prefer a tidier appearance, then apply a second coat, being careful around the edges.

Tip: Wait at least an hour before hanging your little masterpiece, so that you don't get paint on your walls.

(Image credits: Katerina Buscemi)