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Paint Skin Experiments on a Small Scale

April 17, 2009

It’s good to work small if you don’t know what you’re doing. At least for me it is. I made some more paint skins about three weeks ago, put them out in the studio to dry, and just yesterday got back to them for a look.

At the same time, I had put some underpaintings and broad strokes on some new 4 x 4″ canvases. So I thought “hm . . . wonder what paint skins would look like on these.” I laid them directly onto the paint and pressed them into place without having to stick them with anything at this point. If there’s enough paint to receive them, you shouldn’t have to. But you might want to seal the whole thing with clear gel afterward.


You can see the small round irregular blobs of paint that were poured individually and allowed to dry on the plastic bag. I wanted to be able to control their placement in a painting. I really like the principle of this. What if paint skins were cut into all kinds of distinct shapes?

I’d like these blobs better if they were poured more neatly. The consistency would have to be perfect (more syrupy like house paint) and they’d need to be poured onto a more rigid surface. A nice thick sheet of glass would work.

I really do have to get serious some time. But not today. This is fun.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Sherrill Pearson permalink
    April 17, 2009 11:15 am

    hi martha, i got excited as soon as i opened your page. i love these little babies. i have made a few skins and haven’t been able to figure out how to give them a home. but Martha to the rescue again. i am a novice as an ‘artist’ and i think my biggest hindrance is not having enough ‘aw to hell with it…just DO IT’ attitude – too much worrying about not wanting to disappoint myself. but i figure knowing that, i will overcome it. thanks again Martha. I was in ‘avoidance mode’ when it came to my art and you have started the engines up again. big hug.

  2. April 17, 2009 12:51 pm

    Sherrill, thanks for sharing your thoughts — you made this whole blog post worthwhile!

  3. April 17, 2009 1:21 pm

    I agree – small is beautiful!

  4. candiedfabrics permalink
    April 17, 2009 3:51 pm

    ooh! LOVE these! Love them all lined up like that, and they work so well together! Delicious colors!

    • April 18, 2009 5:30 am

      Well Candy, they are a kind of unusual color combination but it seemed to work! Thanks.

  5. April 17, 2009 7:02 pm

    I love these too!!! great start….very inspiring palette!!! you rock as always!!!

    • April 18, 2009 5:34 am

      Cyndy, so happy you liked those. I think it would be fun to talk further about color. The most surprising combinations I’ve gotten have been completely spontaneous and almost counter-intuitive.

      Case in point: Those blobs were just the colors I happened to have. The canvases weren’t originally done with that thought in mind.

  6. April 18, 2009 9:16 am

    WOW! I love those!! Beautiful results!
    Using paint skins is something I might try in the future. I’ve always been an oil painter, but started doing some acrylic paintings last year. I am amazed and intrigued by the possibilities of this medium.
    I use blob shapes in my paintings, so I’m naturally drawn to similar shapes, such as yours here. I look forward to seeing more of these!
    Have a creative weekend!

    • April 18, 2009 9:36 am

      Thanks Stephanie! I am constantly amazed at all the different gels and mediums and paint textures and viscosities with acrylics! The possibilities are endless, plus you don’t have to wait as long for them to dry. Perfect for me, since I’m an impatient person.

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