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Artist Community
Written by Lisa Carney
Muse painting is what I like to call my technique for painting spontaneously and intuitively. It is producing a painting without a plan and just having fun. The process is quite simple yet very satisfying and liberating. It is painting from deep within. One might say that it’s even therapeutic. In this article I will take you through the steps of creating an abstract painting using this method.
Step 1 - Gather your materials.
You will be needing newspaper or white garbage bags to protect your work area. Water to dilute gesso. Paper, I like to use 140 lbs cold press watercolor paper or canvas (canvas board may also be used) for your support. Brushes for applying gesso and for adding the finishing touches. A brayer or anything that you can roll like a sponge roller or small paint roller. Acrylic paint, fluid or heavy body in an assortment of colors. Scissors, gesso, varnish and paper towels.
Step 2- Prepare your work area
Spread some newspaper or garbage bags on your work table. Lay down your paper. Have your brushes, paints, water and other tools handy. Give the back of your paper a light coat of gesso. This coat can be diluted with a bit of water and will prevent your paper from curling. Let dry. Turn the paper over and give it a coat of gesso. You can draw in it with the end of a brush, apply it thickly and thinly in some areas if you want to create texture and interest. Let dry.
Step 3 - First coat
Chose your favorite colors and randomly paint on your paper. I like to use Golden acrylic fluid paint straight out of the bottle for this step. You will notice that the textures you have created when applying the gesso really pop out. Let dry. If you want you can use a hair dryer to speed up the process.
Step 4 - Let the fun begin
Chose other colors that compliment or contrast with the colors you have as your first coat. Randomly drip some paint in some areas of your work. Sometimes I like to use Liquitex heavy body paint straight from the tube but fluid acrylic paints or soft body paints will do the job. Before the paint dries take your paint roller or brayer and roll over the drops and blobs of paint. It’s important not to over do it. Just pass once or twice over paint drops to create interesting shapes of color. Once again, if you wish, you can draw with the end of a paint brush in the new colors. Let dry.
Step 5 - Fine tuning.
Take a minute to step back and look at the painting. Observe the overall composition. Maybe you see a pattern, a landscape or other images emerging. This is the time to play with what you have so far. You can accentuate elements you find interesting, correct areas your not happy with or just add some finishing touches. Maybe you only like one area of the painting. If so, cut it out and keep that area only.
Step 6 - Protect you masterpiece
Look at your piece once again. If you are satisfied and happy with the outcome you can sign you piece and give it a coat of varnish. Usually paintings on paper are matted and framed under glass but if you prefer works without glass you can adhere it to a panel or canvas using gel medium. And voila! Your painting is now ready to be put on display and admired!