Part 5

Project: Different ways of applying paint

Exercise: Impasto

View is looking down onto a patch of bluebells and daisies. Used a variety of palette knives, sticks and brushes to layer on acrylic thickly. Trying not to be too precise and keep it loose. Not very successful as my mind really isn’t focussed. I’ve tried impasto before with much more success so I probably should give this another try…

Exercise: Dripping, dribbling and spattering – do several paintings using as many different ways as you can …

First experiment:

4 large sheets of black sugar paper taped together to make approx 2xA1 size. Hung pot with small hole in bottom over the paper. Made of solutions of watery acrylic, watered down household paint, and inks. Swung pot and allowed to drip – sometimes managed circular pattern, other times not.

Once dry, took this paper and attached it to cardboard which I hung from the window sill. Made a solution of white acrylic with water, applied along top edge and encouraged it to run downwards. Turned paper and repeated the runs going in the opposite direction. Interesting grid – wonder how I could use this? It’s a complete grid on one side which gradually fades to the opposite corner as the run end. Perhaps repeat this with different colours for all 4 corners…

Laid it back on ground and throw big splats of red with a large brush – was hoping for some more dramatic redness but the diluted red with water to makes it liquid enough to throw, makes the colour more washes out and transparent.

Experiment 2:

A1 Cartridge Paper, white. Firstly applied marks and drips of masking fluid which was allowed to dry. Also dripped on Linseed Oil hoping that this might produce some interesting effects where it mixed with paint or ink.

Then orange/yellow/red paints and inks dripped and splatted, also moved around with wedges and brushes. There is no change in areas with the oil – I suppose that the paint and inks I’m using must be oil based and don’t react with oil, how disappointing. Peeled off masking fluid. Rather boring result so dribbled on black ink and tipped board to allow it to run randomly – rather like this effect. Once completely dry I decided there was no harm in going further and painted in some of the shapes with yellow, burnt sienna (love this colour) and red. Cad orange didn’t have enough contrast so only did a couple of shapes with that.

I really like the randomness of the runs of black and the shapes they make. I used a similar technique in Drawing 1 to hint at lanes and field boundaries in an aerial view. This works well as an abstract piece. I especially like the white lines and marks left by the masking fluid in the base layers which add depth.

Experiment 3: (in hindsight this isn’t actually dripping etc, but I’ll leave it here as it’s another way to apply paint)

Acrylic paint applied thickly to plastic boards and allowed to dry completely. Also to plain glass and to textured glass. Then paint carefully peeled off – under side is very smooth and top side has texture of brush strokes. Also, paint appears to mix and blend on the surface but actually it isn’t where it touches the support – see sketchbook pages below:

Struggling to think of ways this could be included in any painting. The surface is very smooth which could be of use but it’s hard to get the paint off in large pieces and there must be easier ways of getting a smooth finish. The paint dried on the textured glass is interesting as it really picks the texture up well (hard to see on the above photo but it has a good imprint of leaf shapes) so it’s possible that that may be handy sometime.

Experiment 4:

A = Marbling. Acrylic inks dripped into shallow box of water, pieces of printer paper lowered into water to pick up ink. Shallower the water the better as acrylic ink is heavy and has a tendency to sink. Not good results.

B = Printer paper thoroughly wetted and then drips of acrylic ink dropped straight onto it and allowed to spread and blend. Several looked great when just done but the spreading process continued too far and they became muddy.

C = As for B but on watercolour paper this time. More subtle effects and watery blends. Again, once dried, they had blurred too much.

None of these were particularly successful. Maybe if I had some proper marbling inks but I haven’t. All rather messy and it takes ages of the papers to try and then they have lost their definition – not for me.