Exercise: Dripping, dribbling and spattering

willow crop

Well I expect if I use a metal brush the paint will come off the patio when it is dry. I got so carried away that, despite a large dustsheet, paint flew in all directions. Just as well I was working outdoors.

I prepared two pieces of A2 paper with gesso and a grey ground and mixed up some very dilute acrylics: black, white, warm yellow, blue and a terracotta. My aim was to keep the colours subtle and use the yellow and terracotta sparingly but in practice this wasn’t what happened. Had a I watched Jackson Pollock at work before, not after, I’d have used much thicker paint or possibly raided our DIY supplies for gloopier emulsion or gloss.  The dilute acrylic tended to splodge rather than splatter and I had trouble getting any sweeping lines. Nonetheless, I am quite pleased with the results and invigorated by the process.

Painting one


A spectral visitation – acrylic on A2 paper

After applying a lot of paint (I wanted to fill the canvas completely) by pouring and splattering with a brush and squirting from plastic bottles, I upended the paper (which fortunately was taped to a board) and let the paint ooze downwards and do it’s own thing. It was looking very busy  so I added a lot more white and let that drip. When I saw what looked like spectral figures I stopped and laid the picture flat.  It is currently drying in the potting shed and may be there for sometime as I used a great deal of paint!

Painting two


Cosmic journey, acrylic on A2 paper

I’d made a swirly round pattern in the gesso on this piece of paper and although I knew the texture was unlikely to show I tried to follow the pattern when pouring and splattering the paint. Then I used a thin wooden skewer to run circular lines through the paint to create a bit of a vortex.

Looking and staring

Both these paintings are very detailed and after photographing them I really enjoyed playing around with different orientations and zooming in to look at the patterns. I started to see things…


When I rotate and crop painting one I see rock pools or meltwater


When I zoomed into painting two I found myself looking at a tunnel made of weeping willows. I may be hallucinating now!

I explored the work of Jackson Pollock and watched some footage of him at work on You Tube. My brief write up can be seen here


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