Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Autumn Leaves. How to Paint an Abstract + Painting Videos!

Autumn Leaves. Acrylic on Textured Canvas, 12 x 24 in. 
Abstracted Landscape, Artist Charles Wolf. 
Impulsive Artistry © 2016. All Rights Reserved. 

Hello everyone, I hope that you are having a great week so far!

Back again today to share with you one my latest abstract artworks that I created using a somewhat unusual approach, for me at least, employing an unconventional painting tool as well.

What is really wonderful about painting is that you never know where you might end up next in your personal creative process. Sometimes it is fun to shake things up, throwing traditional techniques out the window, and to be bold in the painting process itself.

This work is titled “Autumn Leaves” and features a layering of vivid, bright colors one on top of the next—a cacophony of individual clashes between the blotches that ultimately work in concert to create a unified whole. The lines add structure and orient the viewer’s perspective, forming order from the smeared, abstracted chaos.

Timelapse Painting Video for Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves, Timelapse Painting Video (only 4 minutes long)! Artist Charles Wolf. Impulsive Artistry Blog Productions. Impulsive Artistry © 2016. All Rights Reserved. 

Full-Length Painting Video with Commentary for Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves, Full-Length Painting Video (only 10 min. long)! Artist Charles Wolf. Impulsive Artistry Blog Productions. Impulsive Artistry © 2016. All Rights Reserved. 

How did I create this work?

The idea for this painting began in my local craft store when I was purchasing supplies for the week. There was a good sale on these wonderful 12 x 24 inch canvases, so I purchased four of them. While it might seem more intuitive to orient the canvas as a panoramic, I was immediately drawn to this portrait position. I also bought a new acrylic color: “Cadmium Orange Hue,” a featured color in this work. I knew that I wanted to paint a new abstract at the time, and the bright orange seemed the perfect choice to me!  

A fellow artist and friend of mine from YouTube, Dave Usher, suggested I try preparing my canvases with (PVA) Tacky Glue for increased texture (he does this with his acrylic landscapes). I tried it with this painting and found that it yielded a wonderful result.

Here is the glue that I used on Amazon:

To create this textured canvas yourself, lay the canvas down on a flat surface and place several large globs of the glue onto it, adding more glue as needed. Spread it out with an inexpensive paint brush that you don’t mind ruining, and use a hairdryer on high/hot heat to dry the glue quickly. Keep working the glue with your brush creating lots of ridges and movement while you dry. This takes about 10-15 minutes to complete. Let the canvas set for 10-20 minutes after and you should be ready to paint!  


Below are several close-up photos where you can see the thickness of the paint, aided by the glue underneath:

New Painting Implement/Playing with Paint

I mentioned at the start that I used an unconventional tool to create this painting. I made a large palette knife, using a giant metal spatula, which I purchased from a local dollar store. To make this knife, I broke off the handle of the spatula, and then straightened out the wide, flat end.

I applied the paint right from the tube onto the canvas without mixing it at all on my palette. Taking the spatula, I began smearing it outwards in large blocks of color. I started with the Mars Black and the Cadmium Yellow Med., followed by Cadmium Orange Hue, and finally the Alizarin Crimson to bring the whole thing together!

Please be aware that this style does use a lot of paint, so perhaps choose a less expensive brand of acrylics if you decide to produce a similar piece. I recommend the “Liquitex Basics” brand – a good mid-level product that has a great look, without breaking the bank. Here is a link to it on Amazon (to choose the colors you want use the drop-down menu):

The actual painting process took about 15 minutes, but it was an artistically stimulating challenge to create an interesting composition with nothing but a pseudo-palette knife and paint. I used the edge of the spatula to cut through the layers of paint back to the dried glue, indicating the tree trunks and limbs, or perhaps stems of the individual leaves—depending on how you look at this piece. 

Impulsive Artistry Etsy Shop

Autumn Leaves. Acrylic on Textured Canvas, 12 x 24 in. 
Abstracted Landscape, Artist Charles Wolf. 
Impulsive Artistry © 2016. All Rights Reserved. 

Every artwork that is featured on my blog is for sale. Consider supporting my art by purchasing this bold abstract at the Impulsive Artistry Etsy Shop! All of my paintings can be purchased there, link below:

Etsy Shop Main Page Link

Can anyone use this painting technique?

Well yes! Is this technique hard to do? Not mechanically, but it may be challenging to create a balanced and interesting composition. The most difficult part of painting this way is to not overwork the colors. If you mess with them for too long, you will create mud and loose the vibrancy of the individual colors. I tried very hard not to ruin the center of each splotch of color by only allowing the edges to comingle together. It can be tricky to know when you are finished with this sort of painting, but I went with my gut of when it felt done to me!     

Final Thoughts

Even if you have never painted before, give this method a try! It is a lot of fun to play around with the paint this way, it is relatively simple as painting goes, and can create a very attractive piece of art that will work well as home or office décor!

Thank you for viewing my artwork today! I hope that you find the art you see here on Impulsive Artistry to be inspiring, and that you will be more creative in your own life! As always, may you have a fantastic artistic day, and we will be back with more artwork soon!


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