Sunday, January 22, 2017

Affordable Paints For Art

Here I am again with another post about
Art on a Shoe String!
Art for budget minded artists.
Don't get discouraged,
you can get some incredible results
with affordable products.

Today let's look at 
Washable Kids' Paint
from Walmart.
This set of eighteen paints cost me
I am going to walk you through four
sets of color projects.
 This set has some really beautiful colors.
Little pots of pure sunshine and rainbows!
I started with some scraps of watercolor paper
and the cheap paintbrush that came with the set.
It is important to use a heavier paper when you
use this much water.
Watercolor paper or mixed media paper will
work just fine!
 I began by spreading some water on the paper surface.
I dipped a wet brush into the little pot of pink 
and started dabbing the color onto the paper.
 A couple things happened.
The water caused the color to begin spreading.
Then I took a paintbrush and helped the color
by pushing it around in the water.

You may have noticed that I changed paintbrushes.
El Cheapo was not the best brush.
It kept dropping bristles into the paint.
(WalMart has inexpensive paintbrushes
on the craft aisle.)
 Then I picked another color and repeated the process.
As I added more water to the paper,
little puddles and streams of color began
to appear.
Again, I aided them by pushing them
where I wanted them to go with the
This little technique is called dripping.
Really not a rocket science kind of technique.
While there is plenty of water on the paper,
tilt it to one side or the other and the
paint will start running down your
paper causing these wonderful drips.
Where the pink crosses over the blue - 
you start to get purple.
Basic color mixology.
I felt like the pink was a little too watered down,
so I added some more . . .
 . . . and  walked that pink all the way
around the blue.
Then added more blue.
I could never have too much color 
for my tastes!
 While it was good and wet, I added more drips.
See that bit of purple starting to build down
through the middle of the blue?
Like a little rivulet of awesomeness.
Next I turned the whole piece to the side
and ran the drips from side to side.
Once it dried, this is what I ended up with.
I love it!
All ready for tangling.

*** Important ***
Rub your hand over the surface of the dried piece.
If you feel residue, buff the surface with a paper
towel and remove that residue
before you tangle. Your pens will thank you!
 Second project - I used a paintbrush and
wet the entire surface of the paper with 
lots of water. 
A wet mess.
Then I started adding yellow in long brush strokes.
 Using lots of water first allows you to 
add the yellow as a color wash. 
I covered the entire paper.
 I thought the bright green would go well with this color.
 So I added it and started spreading it.
Adding water to the paintbrush made this easier.
 Anytime I have a lot of water -
my brain goes straight to dripping.
It's engrained.
 Originally I was going to add blue,
but this mauve really called out my name.
Truly. It did.
I used a wet brush to pick up some color from the little pot and started spreading it onto the already wet yellow area.
 You can create a little texture by being "choppy"
with your brush and color.
If you need to add more water before you start your drips, that is so easy to do. Just load your paintbrush with clean water and shake drops of water into the color mix. Then let the dripping begin. 
 Third project. 
I wet the paper but not the color.
I just took a brush full of color straight from the pot
and swirled it around onto the 
water covered paper.
 You can see without any real help -
the color is spreading into the water
causing lighter shades around the edges.
Again, just a blob of color on a dry-ish brush
spread across the top.
 And because there was so much water on the paper,
the purple starts spreading and begins mixing
with the pink.
 Did I mention I started with a ton of water
on the paper?
Drips were the natural direction to go.
 I tend to throw the color wheel out the window.
I play with whatever color catches my eye -
whether or not it is actually going to look good.
So I grabbed the orange because I hadn't 
used it yet.
And I loved the color!
And . . . I am so not an orange person.
 I did have to add a little water to make the 
orange spread. 
Enough to make dripping necessary.
My favorite of all I created today.
 I've been working on a non-stick craft
sheet - you could use a plastic placemat or something similar - and I had wet color left behind.
Not wanting to waste that color,
I placed a piece of paper over the wet
and blotted it up.
 I turned the paper and came at it from a different angle and lifted more.
 I was disappointed with the small amount
of color I could actually see -
I really, really love bright and crazy!
While it was still wet, I took a paint palette knife -
a butter knife from your kitchen would work -
and tapped it up and down in the wet color.
 Just lifting and placing it back down.
I liked the bit of texture this gave.
(Even though the picture is blurry.)
 But I just had to add a little more of that
beautiful orange color!
 And that created drips.

For all the tanglers reading this -
I like drips because of the look they give.
But I like them even more because 
they act as a string
and give me sections that can then
be tangled.
Start thinking about them like that.
 And dried!

I hope that you will consider 
art-ing on a shoe string with me,
because it really can produce beautiful results!
And just because she is so adorable,
here is a shot of 
Studio Assistant Aurora
awakening from her afternoon nap.
She's seriously wondering what
all of you are doing in her room.

Art on a shoe string.
It's where it's at!


  1. This is awesome! I may give it a try. Thanks!

    1. very good, let me know how it turns out :)

  2. This is a technique I've used many times....and i agree the Crayola colours are lovely

    1. awesome color, thanks for stopping in :)

  3. An absolutely gorgeous post - your way with words is a joy & as I get to the end of the post my face is grinning. Thank you for all the info you packed into this. The bit about the strings being created is fascinating & I've wondered how you decide where the different tangles go with these backgrounds.
    Thank you for making my day!

    1. where to start tangling on these backgrounds is a question I've gotten many times. just jump in with both feet and tangle up the section you like the most first :)

  4. Great tutorial. Love that last one also.

    1. Aurora is my 'helper' - haha! most of the time anyway

  5. Woohoo what fun!!
    I know the same feeling when you spy beeeeauuuutiful colours in paint! There remains no choice about whether to buy it or not, its already in your bag!! How does pen work go on these paints?? They look rather thick. Thanks for your art on a shoestring articles, art should be for everyone. Anne Marks

    1. as long as you buff the dry paper with a towel to remove any residue - you won't have a problem with your pens. I have never had a problem and I've tried all types of pens

  6. First of all..... Aurora is toooo friggin' cute! What a terrific art companion! Thank you for debuting those fantastic water colour pots! I will be looking for them on my next shopping trip! Do you have any "shoestring" advice for Tombo marker equivalents? :)

    1. I'd go with Pitt artist pens, they are available at Michael's. come in a variety of colors. I love mine

    2. Thanks Alice! I'll check Michael's next time I'm there! :)

  7. That was a lot of pictures in the tutorial, but they usually help a lot. Like your DC tile. Like the boldness of it. Are you enjoying the winter in your new digs?


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