November 20, 2012

Painting without Brushes

"You Scratch my Back", 24X30" oil on canvas

This painting was done with oils paint, shop towels and Qtips.   It was good fun.

Let me explain.....I used a brush for applying transparent red Iron Oxide to a well primed canvas, and
by working into the wet paint I wiped away, scratched away, Q-Tipped away the unwanted paint.  In the lightest areas, I applied a little thinner to a shop towel and rubbed down to the white of the canvas, while in the darkest areas I applied more paint as it was needed. 

Most of us quite naturally try to organize our paintings with lines, at least initially.  The problem with that is that nothing in the real world is outlined - so to make some something appear "real" we need to cover over our lines in a painting.  We often end up painting up to the lines on either side leaving a halo or a hard edge around objects. We have a tendency to not want to paint over our lines for fear we will lose our drawing and not be able to get it right again.  I know because I have done it.

It will go easier for you perhaps if you consider that  drawings are organized with lines, but PAINTINGS ARE ORGANIZED WITH TONAL SHAPES.

You may want to try this excercise with a few simple objects rather than starting with something  complex.  You will find yourself seeing tonal shapes instead of lines, and this is a good thing.  Get one shape exactly right, and then the shape next to that, and the shape next to that....and viola.

Happy Painting (or wiping) everyone.

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