Posts Tagged ‘experimenting’

This latest batch of experiments were of the ‘I hate how these are going but I want to finish them’ variety. Layers upon layers of pure colours, built up to create similar compositions, one more balanced and the others focusing on each primary colour. They turned out better than I expected in the end and there are things I do like about them, but I think it’s pretty safe to say I’m glad this set of experiments are over. They are all part of the learning curve of exploration, however, and for that I am grateful:


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This set focuses on painting with other utensils than brushes to create different, interesting textures and marks. The first two were painted intuitively direct onto acrylic paper, in acrylic with a palette knife. The third (the purpley one) was painted in the same way using an old spoon and plastic fork rather than a palette knife:

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Three primary colour experiments; one with all three primary colours using soft blending (acrylic on paper), one blending intuitive shapes in two primary colours (acrylic on canvas) and one using transparent layers of the primary colours built up and blended (watercolour and masking fluid on paper). The blue/green/yellow one is my favourite; I see a dog/wolf head in it. Which one do you like best and what do you see?

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The finished experiment from yesterday; layers of watercolour and sharpie contours on watercolour paper.

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Playing with colour, composition and contours (or lack thereof):


Incomplete watercolour experiment on watercolour paper; first layer, contours in ink to be added tomorrow.


Felt pen blocks on drawing paper in a freeform, haphazard composition without added contours.


Large block shapes on A2 paper painted and blended with a large soft brush to eliminate all contours and obvious shape edges.

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Right now I am all about experimenting with techniques, marks, colours, compositions and media in the studio to see what works and doesn’t for me, what I want to incorporate into my creativity and what I think holds promise and new avenues for development and further experimentation.

Playing with colour, intuitive composition and mark making:


Acrylic on watercolour paper


Acrylic on canvas, primary colour play


Acrylic on watercolour paper in neutrals

What I love about developing abstracts and intuitive painting is that there is no plan or focus, the paint just is and I am able to let go and follow where it leads.

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About the only thing I knew I wanted to do with the unfamiliar prompt was to play around with a medium that I didn’t use very often as opposed to a subject matter. This became tricky in itself because I have a lot of different materials in my studio that I use fairly frequently. I had a sort through everything and settled on oil pastels which I find myself using less than other medium in my regular art practice. Generally if I want to use oils I paint and if I want to use pastels I use chalk ones that I can smudge and get a large variation of marks with.

I played around with turpentine to loosen the pastels and create thin painterly effects as well as using them thicker to create texture and layering them pure on top of each other to blend colours which I think is one of my favourite uses for them, much as I do with paint I suppose.

I included a picture of the blank page next to it because I used it to clean my pastels and brushes. I do this a lot in my sketchbook and journals and it leaves me an interesting addition to incorporate as a layer in some way on the next prompt.

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