Imagine setting off on a path with lots of possible destinations and no map of where you were going – except for a possible clue at every intersection? That’s what happened to the participants in our Acrylic Abstract Painting Exploration workshop Wednesday. The phrase “trust the process” was the only compass on this journey toward a non-objective acrylic painting.
We did some warm-up paintings on 300# watercolor paper and practiced blending “no-colors” with a scumbling technique. Then we developed a compositional framework based on either a landscape or cruciform foundation.
When everybody seemed to be stalled, we laid out our work on a table and I prepared a big blog of Cadmium Red paint and told the hapless victims to add red paint to their work – anywhere they wanted, but it had to be red.
Wow! That was a jolt of energy. Everyone knew that they could paint over the red if they wanted to, but just that bright pop of color pointed at lots of new possibilities.
Some of the techniques we practiced going forward were:
- Ombre stripes
- Object stamping
- Veiled collage words
Each artist took a very different path, although when a technique worked particularly well, everyone gave it a try.
One thing that helped a lot was consistency – consistency of size (12 x 12″) and consistency of basic palette colors.
My friend Gwen Fox taught me that you could make a myriad of rich colors with just these three Golden acrylics:
These colors, plus white and Payne’s Gray (or black) create amazing and easy color harmonies.
Here are some details from the participants’ paintings that show these colors at work with a few added colors and some of the surface techniques:
Watch the Workshop Video (below) for further views of the paintings and the process. The participants were learners and risk-takers of the best kind!
Thanks for reading – and watching!