Creativity Workshop: Pour It On

I wetted the entire surface before pouring red, yellow and blue acrylic mixes, then used aquarelle crayons to create circle and oval shapes. I also played with small dots of complementary colors, adding metallic pigments and scrubbing to accentuate tree shapes and ?eld forms. Additional contrasts of smoky grays added the ?nal touches to Bright Landscape (watermedia and crayon on paper, 30×22).

The painting for the show had to be done that day or there would be no time to get a slide made before the exhibition deadline. It would be a push, but if I stayed up late, perhaps…I put the little ones to bed and went back to my basement studio. The painting needed some emphasis here, an accent there, but I only made it darker—and worse—with each layer of paint. At 4 a.m., I gave up and went to bed, dreams of a usable paint-ing abandoned on the basement Ping-Pong table. After the kids had gone off to school in the morning, I went downstairs and swept the calamity onto the floor, making room for two fresh sheets of hot-pressed paper. Knowing I’d already missed the deadline and had nothing to lose, I went for something I’d often wanted to try: an abstract diptych. I poured colors—muted, but clear, which dried even better. All the tension was gone. Pouring paint is a great way to loosen up and get your creativity flowing, plus it’s a lot of fun. Take a break from your usual routine and follow this process to create interesting shapes and textures in an abstract painting, or use various elements to add energy and dimension to a realistic work.

Try This at Home
Create a rich, textural underpainting using Pat San Soucie’s pouring and tissue paper blotting tech-niques. From there, build up an exciting abstract design using her methods or your own experimental techniques; or, for a more realistic approach, use the poured underpainting as the start to a rich landscape, ?gure or still life painting. Send a JPEG (with a resolution of 72 dpi) of your painting to with Creativity Workshop in the subject line, and tell us about your process. We’ll choose our favorite paintings and publish them on our website. One entrant will receive a six-month subscription to online video work-shops, plus $50 worth of North Light ?ne art books. The deadline for entry is December 15, 2009.


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