The week was spent using liquid acrylic paints to explore making drips, drops and spatters.
First I applied High Flow liquid acrylic paint directly from the bottle. The paper was held vertically to see how the drips formed vertical lines.
Next I did the same thing, but used a plastic pipette to apply the paint. This allowed for a little bit more control, and changed the mark slightly. Then I added water to the top of the drips, and it affected not only the flow of paint, but the transparency of it. I learned some High Flow paints are opaque, and some are translucent.
For the pieces here (9″ x 12″) all of the high flow paints I used were fairly transparent. I noticed the more transparent the color the more irregularity in the coverage. I love the organic feel to the lines although the width of the line is constant. It would be nice to try the same experiment with different size nozzles. Also the raw paper absorbed more of the paint than a painted paper surface. My lines did not go very far down the page, maybe I was too skimpy squeezing the paint but I do see how this variable could be controlled with practice Since I was traveling and didn’t have any real work in progress with me, so I threw together some 9″ x 12″ fake works in progress to experiment on along with the exercises from last week.
Next, our experiments expanded to use both a toothbrush and liquitex splatter brush.
These are some marks and splatters made from a splatter brush.
- Splatters from a splatter brush tend to be more directional. The density of the splatter marks is dependent on how deep the splatter brush is dipped into the paint.
- Marks from a splatter brush are very scratchy with fine lines – the marks have lots of movement and energy
Here there were splatters made from two different toothbrushes. They both had slightly different results depending on the type of bristles.
Toothbrush splatters can vary in density and size depending on the stiffness of the brush and the distance from the paper. The closer the brush is to paper the more dense and solid the coverage. The stiffer brush made bigger spatter dots but still very fine..
The next part of the assignment was to try dropping High Flow paint from a modest height, and observe the amount of splatter you get from varying heights. We were to allow the paint to drip UNEVENLY on each of the pieces and try to get an irregularity to the marks.
These are my drips from a bottle and splatters from a pipette, both from a 20″ distance – 9″ x 12″. I observed
- Drops and drips change in size depending how far the bottle is held from the paper. The further the distance the further apart and larger the drops land
- The shape of the drops also change depending on how close or far away the source of the paint is from the paper.
After the drops we played with an actual splatter brush as well as a toothbrush. Here are the results of those experiments.
Above I used a pipette and added a little water. I mixed my own color and found with all of these it was difficult to really get a feel for how the value of the drips would really look like on the piece. I started in a few different spots and the paper curled which made one line drop on an angle. Adding the water made the paint flow further and faster and also diluted its potency.
With this one I started out with a beige drip. I didn’t feel there was enough contrast so after it dried I went back in with white. This felt like too much contrast but it did create some details that were interesting. Some of the first beige color seemed to surrounded and outline the white. This also has some toothbrush splatter. I could also see how the value of the drips changed depending on the background it was sitting on. It’s an interesting element to consider.
The drips at the left were made with custom color and pipette. I was successful at getting the drip to go further. I was surprised at the contrast that occurred in the lighter area – it felt a bit strong so I used the toothbrush spatter to try to knock it back a bit. I was surprised at how much the spatter could cover and a little frustrated in the lack of control of what area was covered. Because it could actually change the surface dramatically it would be interested to mask off certain areas to control the surface.
Finally I applied some of these tecniques to pieces that were previously started.
18″ x 24″ just adding to previous experiments. The drops were from a further distance and much less controlled than I would like. At the left a swoosh from the splatter stick and the right using the splatter stick and large strokes. Really energetic marks. Again out of control drips.
Drips from a distance and swooshes with a splatter stick. This felt a bit more successful – the splatters still feeling random and at the same time still relate to the rest of the composition. I noticed that trying to use toothbrush spatters on these larger pieces wouldn’t have much impact, but it did make me think about different larger types of brushes that could create the same effect on a larger scale.
With all of these methods I love the spontaneity potential of the marks, but it’s hard to get them in the right places. I do feel a part of me was feeling a little more “controlled” with this process due to space limitations and this made the marks show up that way. Makes me want to get out a roll of butcher paper in the yard and just have at it to develop more control as well as more expressive marks.