WORKSHOP: Fluid painting

Think primary school – a colourful chaos of creation. This perfectly summarises the outcome of today’s workshop, fluid painting. I feel the excitement of creative opportunity may have gotten the better of my peers and I today because what started out as a dignified session of experimental painting, ended with an unorthodox display of colour.

As one of my classmates had done the workshop at a previous college, I was well advised on how to achieve an effective result. She had told me specifically to pour paint from a height to ensure the paint separated enough but ultimately came together in a marbled blend.

The process involved mixing acrylic with water to make it runny. The consistency of paint to water was imperative as too much of either one would make it difficult to marble. I found that 1:2 paint to water worked the best and also that water should be added a bit at a time and while stirring as to not flood the paint straight away. I poured the blue mix and one grey mix onto a plastic board and peeled off once dry and then used the rest of the grey on tracing paper so that I could see both sides without removing the backing piece.

My results came out really clean. I wasn’t expecting to like the marbled effect as much as I did and I feel something like this could look really interesting as a border within my look book.

The colour inspiration came from the effects of industrialisation, an ongoing issue stretching back to the revolution of the 1800s. Grey connotes the thick smog that consumed cities of Britain from heavy machinery and industrial equipment, juxtaposed with blue – which is symbolic of water, from melting ice caps due to global warming today. The idea was to take a past concern and make it relevant to current affairs which I do feel has been achieved.

The texture is what amplifies the appeal to me. Polished and smooth the surface is professional and easily adaptable to other outcomes. It’s minimalist effect works with the marble of colour and doesn’t draw attention from the pattern itself.

Overall I’m pleased with the outcomes. I’ve scanned them and now intend on using them for illustration or digital development. If I were to do this workshop again I’d have taken more photos of the actual process because although it’s very straightforward, photography evidence is good for referencing at a later date.

After this workshop finished there was leftover paint so myself and some peers took to using it for further experiments in attempt to reduce waste. I used one of the plastic boards and threw the paint at it from a distance. Colour was the main element of focus in my outcome. I wanted to combine tones that were fresh and complimentary rather than harmonious like in the fluid painting. The experiment was fun but served no useful purpose for my work in this project. Maybe in future I’ll revisit the technique but for now at least it was just a spontaneous outlet for creativity.

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