Acrylics: from impasto to pour
Acrylics are an amazingly versatile paint. From heavy-body used with palette knives, to fluid acrylics poured and blown, some fantastic effects can be achieved. Made from pigments and acrylic emulsion, acrylic paints can be combined with a wide range of mediums. These also contain acrylic emulsion, and can be used to change the consistency and texture of the paint, to create different effects.
Painting more abstract artworks allows me to move away from creating a reproduction of the world, towards embodying emotions within the artwork. Using heavy-body acrylics or structure paste allows me to build up texture in the artwork, adding an additional impact to the visual experience. Impasto painting is a method where the paint can be laid on very thick, using a palette knife, which can create fantastic, loose paintings. Using fluid acrylic paint allows me to create gentle wispy shapes and striking contrasts against white negative space.
I particularly enjoy creating Dutch pours. Mine usually have a poured white background. I then pour thin lines of fluid acrylic colours on top of this. I use air to blow this colour out into the background, creating wispy edges. There is a contrast between the white negative space of the background, highlighting the shape of the foreground painting.
Fluid art is wonderfully unpredictable. I can create shapes with edges that I would never achieve with a brush. Perhaps counter-intuitively, in some of my large fluid acrylic pieces, I introduce order and balance using carefully calculated formulae. I build up these artworks using smaller acyclic pours on MDF panels, which I then combine into a larger piece. In Phoenix, a piece inspired by fire, I gradually increased the width of the panels towards the centre of the painting, as well as alternating between black and coloured backgrounds, to create balance and contrast within the piece.
All of the paintings pictured here will be on display at the Living from Art exhibition at Parabola Arts Centre, which I am taking part in from 19-23 October.