In November 2014 I had a go at using acrylic paint and paper using a kind of monotype process. I didn’t like the results at the time – but in time that work came to be quite significant to me. I used parts of the acrylic prints as a backdrop for my various Art and Soul of Better Work presentations in Europe and the USA last year, before splitting the work into four smaller pieces and giving it to friends – retaining one piece for myself.
Carole and I were recently invited to a friend’s birthday. I wanted to make our friends a gift and decided to revisit this acrylic printing technique again. Here’s the design I came up with.
There are three people in the family, each family member is represented on the painting as a group of printed paint shapes. The painting is surrounded by a simple white wooden frame. There is no glass in the frame – the thickness of the acrylic doesn’t allow for it and pressing the painting up to the glass would probably ruin the peaks caused by the printing technique.
These two close up photographs show the paint recently applied and still wet, and later after drying.
I really enjoyed painting, printing and framing this, I like the blend of intention and surprise the technique produces.
I facilitated an Art for Work’s Sake session recently which produced some interesting and unexpected results, including the first print ever made in one of these workshops.
Inspired by these printed works I thought I’d give the technique a try today. At first I had it in mind to try printing a skyline in acrylic onto a water colour wash. I had a few attempts, using way too much paint at first:
A couple more attempts followed – this time with less paint, producing a very different effect. The print either barely copied or splurged.
Something I observed from this session is the effect that a heavy load of acrylic paint makes when you pull the original away from the print surface. I’ll see how I can use this in future.
I found this afternoon frustrating so I scribbled some angry wax pastel and crayon onto cartridge paper before packing up for the afternoon.
I thought I felt in the mood for some art today – maybe not?
Update: Jan 2016. I reflected on writing this post and playing with using acrylic paint to make these prints – and I’ve come to really like the work. I ended up cutting out sections of the purple and white printed paper and made four small pieces of art from it. Together they are ‘The Art and Soul of Better Work’. I kept one – and I gave the other three away.
Update: Jun 2016. Several people have remarked on the skyline painting/print, saying how much they like it. I’m in the process of producing a limited edition print of the design.
Here are three postcards painted using two of my favourite colours, Windsor Yellow and Windsor Violet. I made these flying at 35,000 feet en route from the USA to London. They are attempts at trying to paint wet on wet – using an aquash brush to supply the water and a normal paintbrush to provide the paint. I struggled to get the paper wet enough at first, and on the third attempt I got it a little better but then over did it with the streaks in the sky. I continued this experiment at ground level and will share the next stages over the weekend. Meantime, these three sketches are on their way to a friend in Scotland.