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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Experimentation, Key to Creative Freedom

At one time not long ago, I would have never thought about doing any sort of artistic experimentation, yet as my portfolio grew, I found myself feeling stifled by traditional techniques.  As an artist, I felt like I had come as far as I could with traditional media, and felt the need for a new direction. While in college, I had already started that process, mixing charcoals and pastels on canvas. The experimentation was completely liberating, and I have found that I very rarely paint traditionally, having discovered such a satisfying means of expression.

A simple way to try out experimentation is to try the following project. You will need the following
60 grit sandpaper
White acrylic gessoe
dimensional paint, or heavy bodied matt gel medium
a variety of painting media
Ie.  watercolor, ink, colored pencils, acrylic paint
Stencil .may be cut out of heavy cardboard, or a commercial stencil.  Look around for potential stencil candidates.
paint knife or plastic picnic knife

1. Prep the surface of the sandpaper by applying a minimum of 2 layers of gessoe. Do not attempt to smooth the ridges, but do make sure the paper is well coated so the paint will stick. Allow to dry for 24 hours.
2.  Using paint knife or picnic knife, scoop up about a teaspoon of gel or dimensional medium, and apply over stencil, be sure to fill in around stencil. use back of knife to smooth top. Don't necessarily try to create any particular design, just let your inner child have fun.
3. Allow at least 4 hours for medium to dry, certain brands may take longer.
4.  once dry, try applying various paint, inks and otherwise to the surface.  notice what works, and what does not.
Here is my first attempt with sandpaper
One thing to note about using sandpaper, is that it is extremely brittle, and rough handling will cause it to crack.  
Here is another favorite of dimensional paint, on Strathmore 4 x 6 postcard watercolorpaper.
Dimensional Paint and Watercolor.  Whatever you decide to use, don't be afraid to try anything, no matter how strange.  Turn your world into an opportunity to paint. 

1 comment:

  1. Great experiement.

    Have you tried using something as a substrate for the sand paper?