My creative process involves staying loose and having fun. So the first layers of my paintings are all about play and experimentation.
My backgrounds generally consist of 3-4 layers (before I even think about adding a character). I love mixing together different supplies and colors, to see what happens.
I allow myself to make mistakes and try new things. It loosens me up so that when I get to adding my character (especially the eyes and face) I’m not so afraid to experiment or make mistakes.
Here are 5 Ways To Experiment + Play With Your Paintings:
- Mix liquid watercolors with acrylic paints – I love mixing a bit of my favorite fluorescent pink liquid watercolor with titanium white acrylic paint on canvas. The swirls are where the magic happens (you could really use any kind of watercolors for this).
- Experiment with water soluble oil pastels and inks – Add a little acrylic ink then start coloring with a water soluble oil pastel and pick up some of the ink. Keep scribbling and try different color combinations to see what happens. The first time I tried this technique (accidentally), I didn’t love the color combination, but I loved what happened with the technique. So it’s something I then tried again, more intentionally, with my favorite colors.
- Experiment with soft pastels, inks and water – In a recent painting, I dripped some ink, then dumped water on my large canvas, and it all spilled into my soft pastels (again, accidentally). So I started coloring with the wet pastels, then smudged them in with the pool to see what would happen (lots of fun color that grew even brighter as it dried).
- Experiment with spray paint (outdoors, in a well ventilated area) – In a recent painting, I made a pool of inky paint water, then added spray paint on top (splatters are especially fun).
- Take the inky paint pool with spray paint on top and drag the handle of a brush through it – I’d no idea what existed under my white spray painted layer until I pulled back the paint to find a rainbow pool of ink and water that dried beautifully.
All of these techniques are especially fun to use on first layers… and I love letting one layer dry, then adding more on top (to get a stained glass effect).
To help you loosen up and have more fun with your artwork, I’ve put together my Happy Painting Mini Course, with five projects you can do with a few supplies, even if you don’t have a lot of time.
Ps. If you’d like more inspiration and insights into my creative process, plus access to my free painting workshop, click HERE to sign up for my newsletter.