Here's a tip that some of you might find handy:

 

I hate wasting paint so when I'm done painting for the day, I take my leftover paint and apply it to a spare canvas (or two) using a brush or palette knife, or sometimes even my fingers. Even if it's just a smear of color that's okay - I feel like it's better than throwing the paint away.

 

After awhile that spare canvas begins to take on a life of its own.  The colors add up and it starts to take an abstract form, without any real effort on my part.  Most often those 'spare canvases' become abstract works, but I have also painted over them with a thin coat of white paint, so that the colors underneath show through, and painted something realistic on top.

 

The leftover paint seems to give the canvas a sense of substance and history.

 

Try it sometime, especially if you are interested in creating abstract art!  Just see what happens.  The results may surprise you. :)

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What a great idea Thaneeya and Ann Marie. It is interesting because just yesterday I was looking at a book on abstract art, and thinking about doing something in that area. I too, hate to waste paint.  As you know you need to be generous when putting it on the pallette to make the mixutures you want, I will definitely try both of your ideas. I need to free myself up a bit as I've been studying technique and need to express myself.  Thanks again for the great idea. Pauline P.S. Maybe I will post something in time that I've created.

That's a great idea Ann Marie, using the paper for collage!  Hadn't thought of that. 

 

That is funny that you used to try to get the paint back in the tube or container.  I actually do that if the acrylic came from a jar - I just scoop up the remaining paint (as long it is still mostly the original color) and put it back in the jar. :D  I suppose that's the handy thing about using little jars of acrylics.  I haven't tried to put paint back into the tubes.  I can imagine that would be more difficult. :)

 

Pauline, I look forward to seeing some of your artistic creations.  The 'excess paint technique' is a good way to free yourself artistically because it doesn't involve any pre-planning, at least in the beginning.  And since it's like a 'spare canvas' there's no pressure to finish it or to make it turn out a certain way.  It's mainly a fun experiment, which I find liberating.

What a great idea, Thaneeya!  It absolutely pains me to throw away leftover paint, especially if it's paint that I mixed into gorgeous colors. I never thought to try to put it back in the tube, but if I had, I surely would have tried, lol.

I made paint skins with the leftovers from my last painting, but I'm not at all sure what to do with them.  I'm going to try your idea and then maybe I can add the paint skins to that.  Sounds more fun than the original painting!

Hi Donna - Paint skins sound interesting!  How do you make paint skins? I'd love to hear more about that.

 

Your comment "Sounds more fun than the original painting!" reminds me of something one of my college art professors said.  They came of age in the Abstract Expressionist era and he said it was humbling to look down at his palette and realize that what was happening on the palette was often a lot more interesting than what was happening on the canvas!  Another teacher told of the time someone tried to buy his palette, thinking it was an abstract painting. :)


Donna Duquette said:

I made paint skins with the leftovers from my last painting, but I'm not at all sure what to do with them.  I'm going to try your idea and then maybe I can add the paint skins to that.  Sounds more fun than the original painting!

Wow, that is gorgeous, Ann Marie!  I love the different colors and gestures.  It is amazing to think that is a "leftover paint painting". 

 

It sort of reminds me of a tropical island landscape, with volcanoes, lush flora and waterfalls.

 

Beautiful!

I can see high rise buildings in it too.  And a sea shell in the left side.  The pink near the middle right looks like dolphins to me.i love it. Pauline
I'm sure there's more than one way to make paint skins, but I mixed some heavy gel medium with my leftover colors.  Then I spread the paints onto a non-stick silicon mat with a palette knife.  Once the paint skins dried, I peeled them off the mat and now have them stored on a sheet of acetate until I decide what to do with them.  They're fun to just play with on the acetate--they remind me of Colorforms that I used to play with eons ago when I was a kid.

Thaneeya McArdle said:

Hi Donna - Paint skins sound interesting!  How do you make paint skins? I'd love to hear more about that.

 

Your comment "Sounds more fun than the original painting!" reminds me of something one of my college art professors said.  They came of age in the Abstract Expressionist era and he said it was humbling to look down at his palette and realize that what was happening on the palette was often a lot more interesting than what was happening on the canvas!  Another teacher told of the time someone tried to buy his palette, thinking it was an abstract painting. :)


Donna Duquette said:

I made paint skins with the leftovers from my last painting, but I'm not at all sure what to do with them.  I'm going to try your idea and then maybe I can add the paint skins to that.  Sounds more fun than the original painting!

Thanks so much for sharing your technique on making paint skins, Donna.  That sounds neat.  I'm guessing they could then be 'collaged' onto a canvas using soft gel gloss or acrylic medium - at least, that's what I would try to do! 

 

Do you think the paint skins could be cut with scissors?  It might be neat to make cut them into a pattern and then collage them.  This is sparking all kinds of ideas. :)

 

Donna Duquette said:

I'm sure there's more than one way to make paint skins, but I mixed some heavy gel medium with my leftover colors.  Then I spread the paints onto a non-stick silicon mat with a palette knife.  Once the paint skins dried, I peeled them off the mat and now have them stored on a sheet of acetate until I decide what to do with them.  They're fun to just play with on the acetate--they remind me of Colorforms that I used to play with eons ago when I was a kid.ting!

I did play around with a couple of them and you can do lots of things...part of the reason I can't decide what to do.  Before I even really started experimenting, I ran out of skins.  You can definitely collage them with more gel medium, or you can glue them down.  When you make them, you can add all kinds of textures...I made a green one that sort of looks like grass.  You can cut them out, paint on them, draw on them, rubber stamp on them...I'm sure the list goes on.


Thaneeya McArdle said:

Thanks so much for sharing your technique on making paint skins, Donna.  That sounds neat.  I'm guessing they could then be 'collaged' onto a canvas using soft gel gloss or acrylic medium - at least, that's what I would try to do! 

 

Do you think the paint skins could be cut with scissors?  It might be neat to make cut them into a pattern and then collage them.  This is sparking all kinds of ideas. :)

 


Thanks, Ann Marie...we'd love to see them!

Ann Marie said:
I learned to make "skins" in a collage class I took several years back.  I've used them in paper and acrylic collage works.  I've also made some simple abstract works on paper just using the skins.  I'll dig them out and share a pic.

Yeah, it would be great to see those pieces, Ann Marie!  :)

 

I was just reminded of one of my favorite abstract artists, Beatriz Milhazes, whose work involves acrylic paint skins collaged onto canvases.  You can see some of her work here: http://www.colourlovers.com/blog/2008/04/10/color-inspiration-beatr... and here: http://www.tate.org.uk/tateetc/issue2/inthestudio.htm  It's hard to say (especially when viewing on a computer screen) which parts of her paintings are paint skins and which parts are painted on, but I've seen her work in real life and it is really amazing because you can tell it's not done with a paintbrush - it has a whole other quality to it.  Really inspiring... I'll have to explore this paint skin stuff myself soon!

Love the bright colours............ very cool

Ann Marie said:

 

I thought it would be fun to share one of my "left over paint paintings".

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