Recently I saw the following drawing on Etsy and I was wondering if I could do a similar one in acrylic:

Sideview enter image description here

Do you have any idea/tips how the background was done? At first I thought it was achieved with a spatula. But now I don't believe that anymore - there are too many color accents which can't come from a spatula.

Therefore I would love to hear your ideas or tips on how I could repaint this drawing.
My specific questions are:

  • How would you create the background (technique)?
  • Would you texture the canvas before (structure paste) to give it a bit more depth, or would that be too much?
  • How would you do the vertical "lines/sprinklers"? I could imagine that the paint is too thick to press it directly from the tube onto the picture like this and therefore I have to thin the paint down before making those stripes?
  • Would you do something different / is there something in the picture that bothers you?

Link to the images

I would be very happy about suggestions and tips! :)

  • 3
    So... welcome, there are few things that would make your post more successful. First, you need to ask one question, not a fleet of them. Second, opinion based questions like "is there something in the picture that bothers you" do not work on stack exchange. Third, you are kind of asking for a general tutorial on abstract painting techniques which is too broad of a question. Maybe narrow your question to just the background and how it was painted... – rebusB Jun 16 at 17:58

I believe the background was created by the use of randomly layering acrylic paints from darkest to lightest on the background canvas using something like sea sponges, waiting for each paint layer to dry, then adding the next lighter color. Turn the sponge frequently & use different sponges as well so that you get more random patterns all over. Given that this is acrylics, you may not have to wait for the paint to dry; it won't mess up the layer below like watercolor would.

The "lines" definitely look like slightly thinned paint dropped on and the canvas tilted to allow the paint to run in a line. A spatula knife may have been used to pull the paint into lines as well - use it to put a small dot of slightly thinned paint on the canvas, tilt the canvas if not already tilted, and pull the spatula knife towards you and/or in a downwards direction in a relatively straight line.

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From the picture is a little complicated to know precisely but this is my approach:

1.1. The paint needs to be "sticky" do not confuse with heaviness or density, to achieve this, You could use a 1 volume of "pyroxylin" by 1 1/2 volumes of acrylic ink.

1.2. Use some grain for texture, "+1 load" every coat or color.

1.3. Apply coat with creased surface, paper, fabric, plastic EXAMPLES, first layer light/bright color, upper coat either contrast color or dark value of the first coat color selection.

1.4. After every 2 coats have dried use sandpaper to make visible some crisp details taking advantage of the grain texture load.

1.5. Get Beauty details with sponge and spatula for the background.

For the last part which would be the vertical lines I suggest the next.

  1. Use a sponge with pure or heavy Ink and squeeze to drip over the canvas, this would need to be a fast motion or path in order to achieve some sort of spreadness from the dripping ink. Or place a string of ink on one face of a jargon fold and squeeze.

  2. I would place some rotography made with MaskingTape and remove after canvas is at the desired style.Check some depth explorations:depth : physical and abstract,layered compositions,shapes/patterns, meanings, minimalism

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  • Thank you for your quick answer! First of all: You're right, I didn't know the quality of the picture would suffer like that. I added a link to the original website where you can see the image in much higher quality. Now to your tips: 1.1 What is "pyroxylin" used for? Never heard of this stuff before. 1.2 by grain you mean e.g. mixing sand into the acrylic color? And what do you mean by "+1 load"? Thanks! – Pawek Jun 16 at 11:11

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