How to Create Nerdy Silhouette Paint Splatter Art

Updated on May 22, 2019
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Tori is a 28-year-old, three-time animal mom DIYer living in Northern Atlanta with her boyfriend.

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How I Got Started

This all began last Christmas, when my boyfriend asked for wall art for Christmas. A lot of our wall decorations are themed around either travelling or various nerdy fandoms that we are a part of. A lot of the prints and paintings I saw online were out of my price range at the time, so I decided to make something unique for him with the help of my sister.

Originally we had settled on recreating a print I saw online, but painting it instead. As I was shopping for supplies, though, I had an idea that I thought would turn out really cool: splatter art. It was significantly easier than the design we had picked out, and would take less time (after all, Christmas was only two days away).

I bought all of the supplies and we got to work immediately. The finished product was the Star Trek Command symbol painting you see above. He loved it, and we decided a few months later to make a collection out of it when we found four blank canvases at Goodwill for $4.50 each, and made a set of all of our favorite fandoms.

Overall, we think they turned out great! Having five as a matching set helped us fill out a blank wall in our living room. The Star Trek canvas is a 24x30 inch canvas and the others are 16x20inch canvases. The size difference wasn't intentional, it just happened that way because of the canvases we found at goodwill. It ended up working out pretty well.

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Supplies We Used

Supplies
Cost
Where to Find
Canvas(es) of your choice in size
Varies based on size
Varies
Artist's Loft Acrylic Paint in Black, Gold, Silver, Brilliant Blue, and Emerald Green
$3.99
Michael's
Liquitex Basics Acrylic Paint in Bright Aqua Green and Cadmium Red (4 oz)
$4.99
Michael's
2 inch Paint Brush
$.99
Michael's
Stencils of your Choice
Varies based on what you choose. Ours were free because I printed them.
Online
X-ACTO Knife
varies
anywhere
Painters Tape
varies
anywhere

Choosing Colors

We tried to stick with colors that related to each fandom, but also matched our living room color scheme. We have red, blue, and gray in all of our living room stuff, so I tried to incorporate those colors into each painting where possible.

Here are the colors we used for each of our paintings and where we pulled the colors from:

  • Star Trek: Blue & Red (Two Starfleet Command colors) + Silver
  • The Hunger Games: Gold, Red, and Silver (The fire theme from Mockingjay)
  • Dr. Who: Blue (Tardis) + Gold and Silver
  • Harry Potter: Gold, Blue, Red, and Green (the four house colors) + Silver
  • Futurama: Red, Gold, and Teal (The Planet Express) + Silver

from top left to right: Harry Potter, Futurama, Hunger Games, and Dr. Who.
from top left to right: Harry Potter, Futurama, Hunger Games, and Dr. Who. | Source

Choosing Stencils

The stenciling part can be easy or hard depending on what you decide to use as a stencil. You can purchase pre-made plastic stencils if you like, but I chose to save money by printing them out and cutting them myself.

When you make a stencil for this type of project, it's important to think about what space in the stencil you would like to be colorized and what part you do not. It's also important to think about how many pieces your stencil needs to be. For example, my platform 9 and 3/4 stencil was 3 pieces: the original outlines of the letters inside the circle, and then the middle of the 9 and the middle of the 4. My Mockingjay and Tardis stencils were all one piece.

It's important to choose an image with simple lines so that you don't confuse yourself while cutting it out. You also want to keep away from stencils that have too-skinny lines, because you must be able to put painter's tape underneath. If you are dead set on using a stencil that requires super skinny lines, I'd recommend printing your stencil on sticky paper, so that you are essentially making a giant sticker. Then, you can skip the painters' tape altogether. Be warned though - the more paint you use on the painting, the harder it will be to peel the sticker up when it's dry.

It's easy to find simple images that can be used as stencils online. Here's the ones that I used to create each of my stencils.

To find images that would work as silhouettes, search for whatever your phrase is plus the word "silhouette".
To find images that would work as silhouettes, search for whatever your phrase is plus the word "silhouette".

Instructions

  • Find and prepare your stencils. Be mindful to choose simple ones that are easy to identify negative space (where you want the paint to go).
  • Using your paintbrush, paint the entire canvas black. You may need two coats to eliminate any brush strokes. Dry with a hair dryer in between coats to speed up the process.

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  • After the black paint is dry, attach stencils using painters tape rolled up underneath each stencil. the more you use the better - the painters tape will help prevent the paint from bleeding under the stencil.
  • Bring the paintings outside and cover all surfaces that might get hit by splattering paint. Make sure the painting is flat.
  • Squeeze some of your dye onto a paper plate. Dip the paint brush into the paint and carefully but forcefully throw the paint across the painting. When you are satisfied with one color, move on to the next. Alternate colors as you please.

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  • Allow the paintings to dry for one to two days. The paint splatters will take a while to fully dry.
  • Once the paint is dry, carefully peel the stencil off of the canvas.
  • Touch up with black paint as needed.

Letting the paint dry after splattering.
Letting the paint dry after splattering. | Source
The finished products.
The finished products. | Source

Questions & Answers

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