Materials for Abstract Learning – Go Cheap

Snapshot of my desk: working on a sketch painting - Serena Fenton
Snapshot of my desk: working on a sketch painting - Serena Fenton
Snapshot of my desk: sketch painting

One of my key goals is to get looser in my painting.  This requires not worrying about the cost of materials for creations that will likely never be seen outside of my studio.  So, what can I use that will have some of the fun and looseness of Jane Davies‘ paintings?

Davies uses good quality paints, which have solid depth and luminosity. If you go cheap, you will loose those fabulous qualities, especially in the yellows. Yellow is the hardest color to use when covering something in the background.  Usually with a cheap yellow, you get a unwanted streaks and blotches. The other colors aren’t that bad.  You will never get intense brilliant colors from the cheap premixed bottles.

The plus side of cheap paint? The colors are all a bit muddy, which reduces them down to the same intensity. This will solve some color battles that might otherwise be occurring on the page.  Historic fact: in the early-to-mid nineteenth century, artists would paint a brown glaze over their finished paintings go give a greater unity.

How cheap is my paint?  I hit the magic sale day at Michaels and with coupons, found Craft Smart paint for 44 cents a bottle.  I wanted matte paint (important).  I also bought several bottles of white.

On the expensive end, I have a set of cran d’arche neocolor crayons and a set of prismacolor art sticks.  I have had both of these for awhile.  With the way that I use them, they will be around for a good bit longer.  I am not too worried about the cost.  It you are just starting up and can only afford one, I would get a small set of the neocolors.  They are really fun.