A pretty awesome thing happened at Martian Headquarters last week. We spent the better part of a day studying techniques for washes of color with acrylic paint. This hands-on experience was a slice of art heaven for us, and only convinced us more of our teacher’s genius.
We have been experimenting a bit, tracing outlines of guitars over them. It’s fun, and they look nice on the wall. They seem to work because A) the washes are pretty and B) people can latch onto the concrete idea of the guitar instead of being lost in abstraction. Dig some in-progress shots of pieces that are busy drying or getting additional coats, plus some details of the washes.
iain carstairs said:
I have only three questions: How, how, and HOW??!!
Mars Will Send No More said:
I was just bragging to my art teacher about you Iain, what with your complete dedication to details like grinding your own pigments for your fresco. I would have thought color washes were part of your arsenal of technique already! You like to work with oils, if I recall correctly, but here is the basic idea for acrylics:
Spray your canvas to wet it. Squeeze out a few dabs of acrylic paint here and there, using more than one color. Take a wet brush and begin brushing the color into the canvas. Start with the lightest color first and work your way to the darkest colors, never lifting your brush. If it gets too dry, lightly mist with water.
You can get additional interesting effects by tilting your canvas so the colors run in streaks, or splattering and dripping at various stages of dryness, or splashing some 70% rubbing alcohol on the wet paint to randomly repel patches of the color.
You can keep adding layers on top once it dries, but they do get muddy after a while. Experiment, play, and have fun!
*I should add that some of the pieces also use a “scraping” technique which you see all the time in modern art but I learned last month from watching a video of Gerhard Richter applying paint with a giant squeegie.