My Painting System

Every artist has some sort of system by which they produce their own work. Over time, they have no doubt honed in on their own unique way of doing things- in addition to classical (or not so classical) techniques and teachings, of course. After all, a painting is, at the end of the day, just a buildup of any number of layers of paint. How one applies said layers is a matter of preference.

My acrylic non-objective work is very much the result of a buildup of layer upon layer of watered-down pigment. It takes a long time to arrive at the effect that I want and I have my own system for doing so, which mainly involves me having to wait for (many) paint puddles to dry.

This is a painting I’m currently working on. I’ve already textured the surface- which is always my first step- with some gel medium. I always have a few paintings going, and this actually was an old painting I decided to work back into. Usually, my next step is to mix a color and really water it down- and simply pour it on the canvas:

I usually use a brush or other instrument to manipulate where the paint pools- I often also use a spray bottle to spread it around, or even just tip the canvas and see what happens. I like this spontaneity that water media affords. Sometimes, to get the pigment to really pool in a specific place/pattern, I’ll lay objects in the pool of paint:

In this case, I had a spool of wire handy, so I decided to lay it in the pigment! You can probably tell that I already did it in the upper portion with some  orange paint.

And then, I wait! Waiting for a painting like this to dry takes a while, simply because of the high volume of water. However, since I have multiple paintings going at one time, I can easily make sure that I’m not just sitting around watching paint dry. This painting obviously has many more layers to go- and I’ll of course eventually just work into it with regular, heavy bodied paint, but it’s well on its way!

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