DIY Rorschach Art

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap  —  June 13, 2011 — 10 Comments

One of my favorite blogs, Little Green Notebook, posted a few months ago about using those psychobabble inkblots (technically called the Rorschach Test) as inspiration for art. I thought it would be pretty simple to pull off and a subtle nod to my work in mental health (although I’m more likely to be caught sorting out family drama and teenage angst than administering fancy tests).

DIY Rorschach Art by Hannah via Little Green Notebook

I decided to use leftover blue paint that I mixed up for the chevron pillow, and some greige-ish barkcloth that my friend Cassie gave me for the background. I took an 11×14 canvas and roughly measured out a fabric rectangle that would wrap around the edges enough to staple in the back. I had lots of fabric so I cut three rectangles, leaving me plenty of room for error and experimentation.

I practiced first on paper, using a syringe (whose actual purpose is to give the cats their flea medicine) to drip paint onto half of the page, and then folding the page in half to create a mostly-symmetrical blot.

I experimented with a few different techniques, but after the fourth one (pictured on the upper right), I felt I was ready to take it to the next level.

I didn’t do a good job of taking process pictures, mostly because it was kind of nervewracking getting the paint on there and then folding it in half carefully and pressing it together, then pulling the sides apart to reveal my masterpiece learning experience.

The fabric reacted to the paint a bit differently than the paper. The blot pictured above was my third and final attempt. Here’s the three all rounded up:

The middle one was created using the syringe technique, which definitely did not get enough paint on the fabric to achieve the look I was going for. When I made attempt numero dos (all the way to the right), I just dribbled the paint straight from the jar. Better, but still not extremely awesome. Finally, for my third attempt, I broke out a paintbrush and just started painting random dabs and streaks. While it doesn’t look anything like how I’d imagined, I kind of dig it. It reminds me of a fleur de lis, which is pretty much a staple of home decor in this part of the country.

To finish this project up, I waited a day for the paint to dry then laid the fabric face-down and centered my 11×14 canvas over the back, then worked around the edges from the center out, pulling taut and stapling as I went.

I decided not to trim the extra fabric in case I want to take it off the canvas and use it in some other way in the future. For now it’s living the good life on the mantle/ledge I whipped up last week.

I likes it. And this project cost me exactly zero point zero zero dollars because I had all the supplies on hand (I like to pick up canvases in various sizes when I see them on sale at Hobby Lobby because I know I can use them for little projects like this). I saved the best paper practice inkblot, as well, and I think I may stick it in a frame and put it somewhere else in the house. Except it might be weird to have two pieces of inkblot art with the exact same blue paint….maybe I should put it somewhere really far away and hope no one notices.

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap


10 responses to DIY Rorschach Art

  1. Charlotte,
    You are like Martha Stewart, but cool.

  2. What a great idea!

  3. Charlotte,
    I have a garage-full of leftover paint from when I painted the entire house and practically no artwork on our walls (partially due to budget & partially due to my complete lack of artistic ability). This post makes this contradiction seem utterly ridiculous. Thanks for the inspiration!

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