Getting Out of a Mess... 
or How I take a wet mess and turn it around into a loose, fun-to-look-at painting!

Welcome back to another BobBlast!

First of all, materials for this step-by-step demonstration - 
1) My watercolor paper is Cheap Joe's Kilimanjaro, 300 lb, Cold Press. I prefer the flexibility and toughness - it takes a beating and stays flat!
2) My Paints are Holbein Artist Acrylics.
3) My brushes for this exercise tend to be paper towels, fingers and a few wide, flat brushes.

I purposely make a mess - a colorful, wet mess created by dabbing my selected color combination all over the watercolor paper surface using a damp paper towel dipped into a few mounds of fresh paint - right put of the tube. I lightly dab the surface with different sizes of colorful marks. Let all the colors bleed into each other. Let the mess dry.

Now, reductive painting (also called negative-shape painting) begins! I paint the negative shape - the silhouette of a vase with flowers with a wide brush loaded with a light value, opaque color. I paint the part that doesn't look like flowers in a vase.

Once the focal point is established, I "finger-paint" a stronger color in that spot. The focal point is where the eye goes first - it is the part of the painting that grabs your attention.

All the while, I am redefining the reductive painting - and while the opaque color is still wet, I scrape and scribble drawing lines with either a twig, the brush end or my fingernail. I enjoy drawing and this is the perfect opportunity to scratch and draw back into the painting. Of course, you can also use charcoal, pencils, water-soluble crayons Etc.

These "messy loose beginnings" are usually unpredictable and keep me on my toes! This experimentation is an excellent way of staying loose, resolving each mess into a loose interpretation of something else!

Keep it real!

Thanks again for watching and telling your friends! We strive for short, substantial, informative bits to help jumpstart your time in your studio. 
We appreciate your interest, questions, comments and support!

Here's a quick reminder about some upcoming workshops and dates. If interested, sign up now!

Featured Workshops :

Raleigh, North Carolina
April 10-14, 2017 - Abstract Acrylic Painting & Collage
Contact Stacy Stover, Jerry's Artarama Event Coordinator (919) 876-6610 or email

Polyptych Workshops at the Sedona Art Center:
May 15-19, 2017
Artist Retreat: Contemporary Abstract Figure Painting & Collage
October 23-27, 2017
Artist Retreat: Playing with Polyptychs
5-day Workshops (Monday-Friday)
Sedona Arts Center, Sedona, AZ
Contact (888) 954-4442 or (928) 282-3809

Paint Insane with Bob on the Seine
International Trip to France!
April 13-23, 2018
Contact Dillman's (715) 588-3143

View Bob's Workshop Schedule, click here.

Hope you have enjoyed these short, weekly blasts! Sign up on my website and keep watching. There are lots of them! 

Hope you have enjoyed these short, weekly blasts! Sign up on my website and keep watching. There are lots of them! 

Click HERE  to view BobBlast Issue 139
"Getting Out of a Mess..." video.

Getting Out of a Mess

Love, Peace & Happiness,
Robert Burridge

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