Last week Sally showed us how to use acrylics in a more experimental way. I've never used acrylics in this way before. I found it extremely liberating, especially since my style of working is usually quite controlled.
Admittedly, during the class I felt as if I was making a mess, but I was having a lot of fun making the mess!
Experimental Paintings 1 and 2 on the right, and Experimental Painting 3 below, are the pieces I did during the class. Experimental Paintings 4, 5, 6 and 7 at the bottom are paintings I've done at home.
How I created Experimental Painting 1 (purple, lime and yellow)
1. I took a sheet of A4 thick cartridge paper. Using masking tape, I secured all four sides of the paper to the table. I split the page in two, and created a square at the top of the page using masking tape.
2. I mixed up some purple acrylic paint so that its consistency was spreadable, but not watery. I painted the square with the purple, using criss cross strokes so that I didn't get even brush marks. After it was dry, I blocked a couple of areas using torn strips of masking tape.
3. I then painted a coat of lime acrylic paint, covering the purple paint completely. While it was still wet I started scratching into the paint using my finger nail. This exposed some of the purple paint and created the thin patterns you can see in the painting.
4. After the lime was dry, I painted a coat of yellow acrylic paint on top of it and made further scratches using my finger nail. I also used a tiny bull dog clip to create the fan shapes.
5. Once it was dry, I removed the masking tape. Some of the paper tends to peel away with the tape, but this can sometimes add to the effect. I painted the small strip that came away yellow, which can be seen on the left hand side.
Using paper towels and fingers
I found paper towels a great way of taking away the paint and smudging areas. Green paper towels are perfect to scrape away paint as they are quite firm. They can be used dry or wet. Using wet paper towel I can get to the first layer of paint, which can create some lovely effects. It's a great way of creating some lighting.
Kitchen towels are a bit softer than the green towels and they can be used to create more softer effects. Again they can be used wet or dry to remove and smudge paint.
I also placed torn up pieces of kitchen towel to mask areas before painting a layer of paint. This can be seen in Experimental Paintings 4 and 6 below. Some of the paint seeps through the towel creating an uneven pattern from the kitchen towel.
I used my fingers a lot to blend the paints, move colours around and also to add paint. I found my finger nails were great for scratching into the paint.
Use anything you can get your hands on to make marks, patterns & shapes
The wonderful thing about these paintings is that you can paint anything, and you can use anything you can get your hands on to make the marks, shapes and patterns. You can use forks, paint brush handles, paint brushes, paper clips, clothes pegs, the list is endless. The most important thing is that you have lots of fun experimenting and being creative.