Part 1 – Project 1, Exercise 2 – applying paint without brushes

This was more fun than I expected it to be. I have used many things over the years, besides brushes and knives, to create paintings. I went through a phase where I only used my fingers and hands, for instance, on very large canvases.

Most of us, as children, have experimented with printing using cut out potatoes on paper, or dipping flower heads into paint and dotting them onto a picture; using stencils, as well as dripping paint onto the surface and manipulating it with sticks.

For this exercise we are encouraged to use our painting knives and other implements and I used knives in my collection (at the moment these are the cheap plastic ones as I’ve lost my metal palette knives! aargh). I also used old credit cards, plastic flat edges/squeegees, cotton earbuds, wooden canvas plugs, steel wool, plastic rolled into a ball, my fingers and various other things that were lying around.

I didn’t expect the result when I used a foam roller with oil paint. I’ve used this roller many times before with acrylics and it’s been rather abused, as I cut into it’s surface, so that it creates a non-uniform effect when rolled across a substrate. I really liked the way it worked with the oil on paper.

The roller gives a soft grainy effect on the paper, I’m going to try that out more in future exercises I think.

Of course, we are now in the digital age and this has opened up all sorts of techniques to create images without the use of conventional paint and brushes or knives and other mark-making equipment. I have dipped my hand into the digital art making process using Photoshop many years ago but I don’t have the programme anymore and because of that, I haven’t experimented, so my skills are basically non-existent when it comes to digital art. Photoshop now requires a subscription, which makes it unaffordable for most people, who don’t need it for professional reasons (myself included). I know there is Gimp, but I don’t like it very much and don’t have time anymore to sit for weeks figuring out how to use it. My son is a graphic designer /web-developer and he has many years experience using programmes like Photoshop in his working environment, I only wish I had half his skill!

Somebody I follow on WordPress is a digital photography expert called Colin Aiken

COLIN AIKEN The origins of flying
From his: Photography without limits blog


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