Sunday, March 1, 2020

Brusha Brusha Brusha

It's no secret that I don't paint with brushes.  I think it's because you hold most brushes the same way you hold a pen or pencil, and I can't draw.  A palette knife is a whole 'nother animal - you hold it in a completely different way.  So in the interest of keeping things *exciting*, I gave myself the challenge of creating a painting using only brushes, and in the interest of keeping it REAL, I'm going to show you the result.  It's definitely not a winner, but I learned some things.  Here's where I started - first layer:

I did a little color correction on all my indoor photos because, remember, I'm a vampire painter and only paint at night.  This is very wet paint and I like the deep horizontal-ish linear texture.  After the next layer, things were looking pretty good:

Again, crappy picture because crappy lighting, but you get the basic idea.  More fun texture.  I should mention that I was using a reference image that I found online years ago.  At this stage of the game I was feeling optimistic.  During the next layer I went all crazy with more paint and a water spray bottle:

REALLY horrible picture, but this is to show that I had to put a screw in the trim below the cabinets so I could hang the painting over my art sink while it dripped.

In the next layer I lost some of the texture that I thought was cool, which was unfortunate, but the piece was still looking good.  Here it is in the light of day:

This was definitely the "I could wreck it at any moment" stage.  I've got two other pieces right now at this same stage - I need to bust thru the stupid "what if I ruin it" thoughts and embrace the crap shoot aspect of my art practice.  Which I did with this blue one and it all went to hell.  HA!  The canvas spent two more episodes dripping over the sink after I washed a poorly executed cow off the bottom.  And I think I should interrupt this narrative to show you the brushes I have been using:

Woo hoo!  Dollar Store finds.  The very first layer, which I didn't show you because I forgot to take a picture, was painted with the foam brush.  And it was crap.  I blame that mostly on the paint - low quality craft paint that I threw away right after using it - and partly on the brush.  The next layer, the one in the first picture above, was done with the big whisk brush.  Side note - that one came with its own bonus palette:

But back to the brushes.  The little black make up brush was terrible - it soaked up way too much paint and just held on to it.  I have found that make up brushes work great with alcohol ink, but not so great here with acrylics.  The kitchen sponge brush (which looks suspiciously like a toilet bowl cleaner) made some really fun texture.  Sponges tend to do that.  My faves were the little round one, which also came from the make up aisle but I can't remember what it is for, and the good old fashioned toothbrush.

Back to the painting.  My inability to portray a half decent cow, even an abstract cow, frustrated the hell out of me and I resorted to a flock of wonky sheep:

All in all it was a fun experiment.  Next time I'm going with just a toothbrush.

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