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Guest Bedroom Series, Pt 3: Custom Artwork

Artwork is one of our favorite accessories, bridging the gap between emotion and substance. Don't get us wrong, the architectural features of a space are incredibly important, after all, they create the foundation of any room. However, it is the accessories are the support that holds a concept together, providing layers of rich story telling, giving a room reason.

To me, choosing artwork that appeals to you is like choosing what to have as a favorite meal. It's all up to personal taste and truly, there are no wrong answers. But what if you can't find anything you really love? Or what if you found it but the attached price tag makes your eyes water? Well, I create what I see in my head, allowing me to make something customized for every space. That way when you walk into a room and feel like the artwork was made specifically for that space, well, it's because it was.

One-of-a-kind piece of art on a headboard picture ledge. The room has a dark blue wall, gold drapes and headboard and the painting incorporates those colors.
We created this painting specifically for this guest bedroom to connect the strong colors in the space.

But how does a piece of art become a (self-proclaimed) masterpiece? How do you go from a blank white canvas to layers of paint that evoke emotion? Well, I can't speak for every artist, but I can show you mine.

I love color and usually try to play off the existing vibe that exists in the space. This guest bedroom had plenty of soft gold pieces and a dark blue accent wall so I chose blue-green and soft gold for the painting - it's similar but doesn't compete. I paint the first layer to get the color (and any texture I might be adding) down and inspire myself before sketching my outline in pencil.

Canvas with blue and gray brush strokes.
Base color down with pencil sketch to guide.

Then, I paint the main shapes mixing paint to create the colors I need.

Canvas being painted with acrylics, the background is gray and blue while the artist paints green and yellow flowers.
Using acrylics paints I use the sketch as a guide to paint the large shapes.

This is a mixed-media piece of art, acrylics with pastels used to add vibrant detail and outlines.

Canvas with a gray and blue background, yellow and green flowers and dark outlines.
Pastels are used to add definition and texture.

I love adding strong lines to my work - much like the design of a room, I feel like it adds an extra dimension. I like the contrast between the softness of the brush strokes and the strength of the constrained airbrush work.

An in-progress photo of a painting with blue painters tape to mark off areas to create straight lines.
Painters tape gives you control, letting you create perfectly straight lines.

Accents of mustard and ochre bring depth to the painting.

Photo of an in-progress painting of green and yellow flowers on a gray and blue background with gold accents. The bottom right corners says "I love you in French."
The main painting is done! Now for a few final touches...

Finally, I add the finishing touches - paint splatter, concentrated airbrush work, a few last detailed outlines.

Painted canvas laying on a workbench in a garage getting ready to be airbrushed.
Moving the canvas out to a well ventilated space that can get dirty is the final step!

Canvas laid on a workbench being spraypainted.
Airbrushing and spray painting is an interesting way to add - and NOT add - paint to certain areas.

Acrylic paint dries very quickly but I still like to let it sit overnight before moving the artwork to it's new home.

This piece is the focal point of our guest bedroom, tying the accent wall and headboard together in a beautiful collection of brushstrokes.

Finished painting on top of a headboard picture ledge.
Finished painting in it's new place of honor.
Guest bedroom with gold headboard and drapery with a custom painting in front of a dark blue accent wall.
The painting elevates this room to something truly special.

I love the way this whole space came together! The rich colors grounded feed off one another all connected through this bespoke painting. It really is the accessories that make the space! If you haven't seen the whole space, check out the reveal...and if you love the headboard, you're in luck! We posted a tutorial so you can fabricate your own.

Do you paint or are otherwise creative? If so we'd love to see your work! Tag us on IG @reddesignedinteriors.

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