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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I love these, Ann Marie! There is something simple yet satisfying about them (and I don't mean 'simple' in a negative way, I mean it in a really good way, like a Zen/minimalist way).  I love the combinations of different textures.

Thanks so much for posting these! You're expanding my ideas of what can be done with leftover acrylic paint. :)

What about the leftover dirty paint water?  How do you handle that? I have seen a system with several buckets, strainers etc. I hate pouring that stuff down the sink! 

Good question, Tracy!  I'm going to post your question in a new thread and suggest an answer there.

 

Here's the new thread: http://community.art-is-fun.com/forum/topics/what-to-do-with-leftov...


I also hate to throw away paint.
This abstract lanscape is made from layers of unused paint from several paintings applyed with a palete knife.
It's neat to see what you've done with your leftover paint, Rob! I like the waterfall and how it contrasts with the background.

You'll have to try Interactive Acrylic (made by Chroma, Blick sells a starter kit), and a deep well water retaining palette. I use the wells for the paint, and a paper palette for the mixing. The paper palette becomes very interesting some times, but the whole point of interactives is that they don't form a skin, and I've kept and used paint for months (I freeze some palettes, and use them up to a year later).

 

However, I don't want to spoil the fun. BTW, I have several aprons I intend to cut up and put on backing board. Many people have commented on how they like them better than my paintings.



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!

Hi Pamela,

 

Your process and the paints you use sound interesting, especially being able to use the Interactives for months!  That type of paint would solve the question of what to do with leftover paint - just save it for later.  ;)  I am curious to try them out someday, as I imagine that working with them may be a bit different than working with regular acrylics.

 

I would love to see your "apron art" if you cut them and mount them. That sounds like a fabulous idea.


Pamela Jay Paralikis said:

You'll have to try Interactive Acrylic (made by Chroma, Blick sells a starter kit), and a deep well water retaining palette. I use the wells for the paint, and a paper palette for the mixing. The paper palette becomes very interesting some times, but the whole point of interactives is that they don't form a skin, and I've kept and used paint for months (I freeze some palettes, and use them up to a year later).

 

However, I don't want to spoil the fun. BTW, I have several aprons I intend to cut up and put on backing board. Many people have commented on how they like them better than my paintings.



Donna Duquette said:

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. :)

 


These are such great ideas, I'm loving the paint skins idea. What I do is sometimes use a canvas as a palette and over time watch the piece build up. Most of the time I use little plastic containers so I can reseal them and reuse the paint (I have a lot of little contains surrounding my table lol). This comes in handy for when I need to do touch ups at the end of the painting process.
I do something similar to this. I use the leftover paint and go outside and find a rock. With the leftover paint I paint a quick cute little scene on it.

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