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Making Art

Liquid Courage: Exploring Paint Lab

"All art requires courage." -Anne Tucker

how to paint brush

Call it a stroke of genius. It was as if author Deborah Forman intuitively knew some of us *might* need a pep talk before putting brush to canvas. The introduction to her new book, Paint Lab: 52 Exercises Inspired by Artists, Materials, Time, Place, and Method, provides encouragement to take risks and enjoy the painting process. Her main point? Some of the greatest artists and visionaries were ruthless in their risk taking and were not afraid of failure.

Time to put on a brave face and dive right into Lab 2: Let it Pour, with a focus on liquid acrylics. The inspiration? Abstract expressionist Helen Frankenthaler, whose unique style of pouring thinned-out washes of acrylic directly onto the canvas produced surprising and beautiful artwork.

painting techniques

This lesson in Paint Lab also provides step-by-step instructions to make your own artwork using poured acrylic methods. The author recommends using a palette limited to three to five colors while being conscious of how they will mix together. Once paint is selected and mixed, pour directly onto your canvas, tilting the surface as desired to encourage the flow of color. The result might be something beautiful like this picture below entitled, "Petals."

beginner painting tips

All images excerpted from Paint Lab

Whether this is your first brush with acrylic paint or you feel right at home with this medium, be bold with your artwork. Don't be afraid to pour a bit of your heart and soul onto the canvas and see how it all pans out. Taking a risk might just yield your most beautiful artwork yet.

When is the last time you tried a new painting technique? 


Beth Bauer

Beth is a freelance writer residing in Fishers, Indiana with a background in print journalism. Her full time job as a stay at home mom allows her to explore the beauty of art and life through her two young daughters' eyesone finger painting at a time.

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Creativity is not the finding of a thing, but the making something out of it after it is found.

James Russell Lowell

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