Exercise: Applying paint without brushes


Before sanding

This feels good for the soul! I’ve used metal palette knives, plastic knives, sponges, brushes, rag, credit card, bits of card, fingers, thin paint and thick paint. I’ve made an incredible mess and had as wonderful time!

I found a set of colour shapers and experimented with those two.


After sanding

This feels like graffiti art and it’s exhilarating to do. There’s a lot of control too. I used sandpaper over two of my finished pieces which creates another level of interesting texture. This  took the shine off them which was more pleasing to my eye.



Before sanding



After sanding







Things I learnt from this exercise:

  • You get through a lot of paint working with a palette knife.
  • You can build up layer on layer.
  • A layer of thin paint over the gesso can be applied very quickly with a sponge, also a sponge creates interesting textures / shapes.
  • A layer of thin paint can be applied very quickly with a palette knife and reveals the texture of the gesso below.
  • You can sand away layers to reveal layers (using the gesso primer probably helps with this).
  • There’s always something available to paint with, including your fingers.
  • There are no end of different textures and effects that can be achieved.
  • Have a little patience in between applying layers or colours will turn to mud and interesting texture will flatten.




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