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Looking to make something crafty? Check out how you can bring out your creativity with this DIY Wall Art for the dining room! MountainModernLife.com

A little blog update:

The past couple of weeks have been a little rough as I have been dealing with server and shop issues that made me wanna cry. After numerous hours doing research, talking to tech support, and changing hosting companies I am finally able to focus back on the aspects of blogging I enjoy most. That’s the thing with this business though, you have to wear many hats, pick your battles, and sometimes the only person that can make the changes necessary is you. Although the past 2 weeks were a little challenging, I did learn a few new things and like to believe that everything happens for a reason. If that’s the cost of doing what I love, I will gladly take it 🙂

I have been wanting to share some tips on how to start a blog for quite some time, especially since I receive so many emails about the topic. I hope when that time comes you can learn from both my success and my failures.

DIY Wall Art for the Dining Room

Anyway, today I am sharing some DIY wall art I made 5 months ago when I was looking to spruce up our dining room on a $0 budget. This bear painting makes me so happy every time I look at it and I still can’t believe I made him.

You may have seen this photo from Instagram:

Looking to make something crafty? Check out how you can bring out your creativity with this DIY Wall Art for the dining room! MountainModernLife.com

This post isn’t about how to make anything specific, but instead, I hope it will inspire you to create something for your home that you can enjoy making and appreciate afterward.

I’ll admit that I wasn’t even sure if I should share this project because all I did was attempt to copycat some art I found online that I had become OBSESSED with. I finally decided that you are probably going to see this bear pop up in some random photos of our house, and wanted to give credit to the artist that inspired it all.

I don’t consider myself an artist by any means, but I still enjoy playing around with paint and making a mess while dancing around to nerdy music. So when I needed decor for our dining room but had absolutely no budget for art, I decided to create my own.  I remember one of my art teachers in college telling us how he practiced drawing by trying to mimic artists he admired.

I love the outcome and want you to know that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to decorate your home in a style that reflects you and your personality. In fact, you may already have everything you need on hand.

Although I feel that it’s okay to mimic something you find online or in a shop for your own personal enjoyment, I should mention that I believe it’s unethical to copy and then sell someone else’s design or idea without their permission.

The Inspiration for our DIY Wall Art:

We don’t always know when inspiration will hit, but when it does it can be difficult to dismiss. I enjoy browsing around the One King’s Lane site and one day I had come across a bear painting from Jennifer Moreman, and I instantly fell in LOVE with this bear!

Jennifer Moreman Knox Bear Painting sm I had been browsing around for some dining room art ideas and never thought I would be so excited about a painted bear, haha. Don’t get me wrong, I love bears and all things rustic, woodland and cabin-inspired but I dunno, the thought of a bear painting in our dining room had never crossed my mind.

For the next couple of weeks, I continued to think about this bear, and figure out a way to create a dining room budget so I could buy him. Honestly, $250 for a large painting is an awesome deal but was far away from the $0 I had to put towards it.  Even so I still kept going back and staring at this guy and his expression that seemed to be begging for me to take him in. I had been contemplating the colors and the size and then when I went back to the link a couple of days later it showed that it was no longer available, booooooo.

I then did a google search for Jennifer Moreman and found her on Etsy where she sells tons of beautiful, whimsical and colorful prints and paintings. I didn’t see this same bear on there though and at that moment I decided to make my own version. If I had the money I would have sent her an email right then and there asking about a custom order. By the way, her art ranges from $35-3,800 and you should absolutely check her out! Oh and this bear painting and many others are back available at One King’s Lane.

mint-border-mountainmodernlife.com

Once I made the decision to attempt to paint a bear for our DIY wall art I went into our garage to see what I could find. I had some leftover plywood from a previous project that had been used as a background when spray painting various objects. I figured it was the perfect size and that I would paint over it with some navy paint, and then paint the bear on top of that.

Looking to make something crafty? Check out how you can bring out your creativity with this DIY Wall Art for the dining room! MountainModernLife.com

Since I did this on our dining room table I had put kraft paper down first so that I didn’t get paint all over the table. I then covered the plywood with a couple of coats of my navy paint.

Looking to make something crafty? Check out how you can bring out your creativity with this DIY Wall Art for the dining room! MountainModernLife.com

I like to line my plastic {take out} containers with foil as it makes for easy cleanup afterward.

Looking to make something crafty? Check out how you can bring out your creativity with this DIY Wall Art for the dining room! MountainModernLife.com

Once the navy paint was dry on the plywood I did an outline of the bear onto the wood with some chalk. I had pulled up the inspiration photo on my iPad and kinda just went off that. I then created varying shades of brown and white for the bear. I  basically just mixed my raw umber acrylic craft paint with different amounts of white acrylic paint to create the variation in shades.

I had my music playing and began painting away, having no idea what I was doing, haha. I’ve done a couple of abstract paintings before, but never tried to paint an animal, although I do have a drawing of a giraffe.

Things looked a bit rough at first and I didn’t get many photos along the way because I was trying to just have fun and get in the zone. I dipped different detail brushes in varying shades of brown and white paint in an attempt to mimic the painting from Jennifer Moreman. Layers seem to be the key, painting strokes over strokes to create more depth.

The hardest part was definitely the eyes. Jennifer does such a wonderful job creating expressions that you fall in love with and for a while, my bear just looked angry, ha. I tried to look at where she used light and dark colors in her painting and then did the same with my varying shades of brown and white paint. Here are a few photos over time…

Looking to make something crafty? Check out how you can bring out your creativity with this DIY Wall Art for the dining room! MountainModernLife.com

Looking to make something crafty? Check out how you can bring out your creativity with this DIY Wall Art for the dining room! MountainModernLife.com

Looking to make something crafty? Check out how you can bring out your creativity with this DIY Wall Art for the dining room! MountainModernLife.com

Looking to make something crafty? Check out how you can bring out your creativity with this DIY Wall Art for the dining room! MountainModernLife.com

Looking to make something crafty? Check out how you can bring out your creativity with this DIY Wall Art for the dining room! MountainModernLife.com

Looking to make something crafty? Check out how you can bring out your creativity with this DIY Wall Art for the dining room! MountainModernLife.com

I really didn’t know what I was doing but was having fun with the process and told myself if I didn’t like it I could always paint over it. I really was surprised that it actually looked like a bear… or a giant hamster, woo-hoo!

Looking to make something crafty? Check out how you can bring out your creativity with this DIY Wall Art for the dining room! MountainModernLife.comI didn’t get good photos of the whole frame building process, but Aniko from Place of My Taste has an awesome tutorial on how to build your own DIY wall art frames here that you should definitely check out!

Looking to make something crafty? Check out how you can bring out your creativity with this DIY Wall Art for the dining room! MountainModernLife.com

Looking to make something crafty? Check out how you can bring out your creativity with this DIY Wall Art for the dining room! MountainModernLife.com

Afterward, some hanging hardware was added to the back and my bear was good to go, although I probably should have filled in the corners of the frame with wood filler before staining it. #imimpatient

Looking to make something crafty? Check out how you can bring out your creativity with this DIY Wall Art for the dining room! MountainModernLife.com

The final size of my DIY wall art is 26″ x 44″. I will say that the plywood I used wasn’t completely flat when I painted it and although I had put a bunch of heavy boards on top, that didn’t make much of a difference. Since the wood wasn’t flat the art stuck off the wall just a bit which annoyed me, so we ended up having to add a couple of screws to get it to be flat against the wall. So if you are going to use some extra plywood you have lying around, make sure it’s flat. #ishouldhaveknownbetter

We originally planned to hang it on the other wall in the dining room {where my wood slice art is},  but I wanted to be able to see him from the living room so I hung him on the other side of the wall.  You may recall seeing him when I shared my fall home tour.

Looking to make something crafty? Check out how you can bring out your creativity with this DIY Wall Art for the dining room! MountainModernLife.com

Here are a couple of updated photos of our DIY Wall Art:

Looking to make something crafty? Check out how you can bring out your creativity with this DIY Wall Art for the dining room! MountainModernLife.com

Looking to make something crafty? Check out how you can bring out your creativity with this DIY Wall Art for the dining room! MountainModernLife.com

Yeah yeah, it’s not perfect and definitely not nearly as good as the original, but I’m still proud of it and love my bear! Not to mention it cost me $0 since we had all of the materials and tools available.

I hope you feel inspired to play with paint, and create your own work of art that you can proudly display in your home. And if you’d rather buy than DIY then I hope you will visit the site of Jennifer Moreman 🙂

So what do you guys think of our DIY wall art? Will you look for inspiration in the things you see?

Thanks for stopping by!

18 Comments

    1. Thanks Katie! It’s funny because I painted this during the fall and was all about neutral tones, but as we get closer to Spring I am loving all of the whimsical colors in the original even more!

      I do love me some navy though and it’s a color that is throughout our home and since we are renting I feel like we will always be able to find a place to put this bear ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. You may not feel confident about how your bear turned out, but trust me, it’s wonderful! So is your inspiring description of tackling your blog-probs. And I totally agree with you: everything happens for a reason. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. OMG!!! I love it! I just did exactly the same thing; fell in love with a painting WAY out of my budget, so I decided to try and copy it. And I can’t draw a straight line, but I’m still pretty proud of the way it turned out ๐Ÿ™‚ You never know until you try!

    1. That’s awesome Kathy and you are so right about not knowing until you try. I was really surprised at how my bear turned out, but the whole painting process was so much fun that even if I didn’t like the outcome, at least I enjoyed making it ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d love to see what you made!

  3. That’s really cute but sophisticated. I liked seeing the shots of the process. I agree with you on selling someone’s reproduced art. Sometimes you just need that extra inspiration for painting and its a great compliment if your just doing it for experience or fun. Great job!

    1. Thanks Heather! Yeah, I felt guilty even posting this since I feel like I just tried to copy someone else and didn’t want to offend the artist. I really wanted the post to be more about taking chances and having fun to create something when you are inspired ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Oh, I just love him!! You did a fabulous job, Katie!! Thanks so much for linking up with us at The Creative Circle! I can’t wait to see what you have to link up this week!

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