Project 1 – Exercise 2: Applying paint without brushes

So this exercise is all about tools besides brushes. Will be fun. Looking around my home what I could use as found objects: palette, knife, spatula, wooden sticks, bubble wrap, cleaning brush, sponge, wooden block, textured plastic piece. This includes my fingers so that I include the disposable glove for my own protection.

Stefan513593 - Project 1 - Exercise 2 - my tools

Stefan513593 – Project 1 – Exercise 2 – my tools

I am making the experiments in oil, as they are not drying that quickly and are thicker so that I can work more impasto and into the surface. To dilute the paint I will use white spirit.  As support I will use a sturdy special oil paper with some canvas texture and a regular drawing paper primed with a commercial uni-primer.


Stefan513593 - Project 1 - Exercise 2 - experiments

Stefan513593 – Project 1 – Exercise 2 – experiments


  • I worked on the floor with all materials around me. Was quite a mess! I didn’t want to try at my easel, would have been more messy I suppose.
  • Working with different colors I was just enjoying the application with the various tools. This result was that the picture got quite muddy.
  • Using bubble wrap as a textured tool enabled me to make a kind of print technique – leaving regular patterns on the surface.
  • With a wooden pick I could tear thick paint into thin stripes like writing with ink pen. I could also scrap off already applied paint.
  • Painting with my fingers felt more like drawing quite intimate and close to the surface. Also like modulating with clay.

=> I have to think when and how I could possible use those techniques. I can see the negative drawing technique with a spatula, knife, or wooden stick suitable for fine markings. ‘Printing’ techniques e.g. with bubble wrap could be applied as a underlaying pattern (more abstract). Working with fingers would be more suitable when working very thick (reminds me of the extreme thick oil portraits of Frank Auerbach)

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