Art project idea for adults and children to try.
This week Acrylic paint peels.
How are you all coping with the lock-down? Are you looking for something a bit different to do? Do you have kids you want to keep entertained in between getting them to do their schoolwork?
I have here a series of ideas which makes for a fun project you can easily set up over a couple of days but can be done in a day too.
Here is a list of the things you will need:
Plastic bags cut up into A4 size (roughly) and spread out on a flat surface OR acetate sheets;
Paintbrush or card to spread paint onto the bags/sheets;
PVA glue, Mod Podge or plastic glue which is clear and flexible when dry;
Glitter, sequins, lace, fabric, dried flowers etc.; and
Any other craft items you (or your children) enjoy using.
This method does use quite a lot of paint, but the results are, I believe, worth it.
Make sure you have a large area to work where the work can sit safely whilst it is drying.
Using a paintbrush, lolly stick or piece of card, spread paint across the plastic bags, mixing colours as you spread them. Don’t over mix, though, otherwise you will just get a muddy brown colour.
Wait for these to dry. Depending on your home conditions (temperature, high moisture levels etc.) this can take anything from one to 48 hours.
Whilst you are waiting for them to dry you can also make strips of paint by adding painter’s tape to the plastic bags and leaving gaps so that you will get clean strips of paint when you remove the tape.
If they don’t peel off easily it will mean that you haven’t used enough paint but don’t worry as adding another layer in a different colour possibly, will make the end results interesting.
You can try adding a couple of colours at the same time and swirling them onto the plastic and then when they are dry add a different colour on top in a contrasting colour. There are lots of different ways to make these acrylic ‘peels’ so just have fun.
Once the paint is completely dry, peel the paint off the plastic. But put it back on the plastic so that you don’t leave paint marks on your work surfaces, tables, floors etc. Also don’t pile them up on each other as they tend to stick and if they are not completely dry you could have trouble separating them.
Now you have these peels you can do all sorts of things with them.
For example, try cutting them up to make a new picture. If you are not feeling very inspired, find a picture you like, from a magazine for instance, and cover areas with the peels to recreate the picture using them. Attach the peels to the magazine picture using your glue and then you can further embellish the work by sticking glitter, beads or other cut out items to your piece to embellish it further.
Another method is to use your PVA glue, Mod Podge or acrylic media. Spread a thick(ish) layer of your chosen ‘glue’ onto your plastic sheet. Now you can add paint, glitter or inks to the surface by splattering or dripping the colour and, using a paintbrush or cocktail stick, you can swirl the products together to make interesting patterns. Again, you will need to leave these to dry properly before trying to peel them off.
With both methods you can rip the dry peels or cut them up with scissors when dry, to use in making up work. If you have dried flowers these can be used and you can add in clean egg shells, for texture or have a rummage through your recycling bin to find interesting bits of paper or plastic which can be cut up to added to into the work.
You can also weave the paint strips into mats which you can attach with PVA glue to pieces of card making table mats or drinks coasters. For this method I advise attaching the weave to a firm base and then sealing the top using an acrylic medium product to protect the paint as left unprotected it can become brittle and break.
I took the peels and wound them around themselves so that I could turn the pieces into flowers which I then arranged on sticks I found in the garden.
Peels can be used as part of mixed media projects, in your sketch books, added to acrylic paints that just need something else or make an entire painting using them.
PVA glue or similar is great for sticking the pieces together or if you have the supplies, Liquitex pouring medium is perfect or Golden Matt medium is great too.
Other items you can use include sequins, lace, coloured threads, pieces of fabric, wool, string, etc.
Some years ago, I met a lady who made really large acrylic skins which she would attach/glue to canvases and paint in between the gaps left by the skins. In this way she would create countryside scenes, using the skins to make hills and mountains in a mixture of greens and then rivers, lakes or the sea using blues and she would join up the gaps between the skins by simply applying paint. She would then finish off by painting a layer of acrylic medium over the whole project to seal it.
If you have access to resin, you could do something similar and cover the whole thing in resin or you could make a 3D object using the acrylic skins and then, using an appropriate-sized plastic pot, secure the skin to the base, pour resin over it and wait for it to dry. It could take a few days for the resin to cure or dry fully, but you would be left with a 3D object encasing the acrylic skins.
I hope these suggestions will give you some ideas to make your days of social isolation more tolerable. I will be sharing more ideas in the coming weeks and look out for my free videos on how to produce prints in your kitchen with no need for any fancy products just paint, paper, and stuff from your recycling bin.
I plan to make a series of free videos showing how to do this, so if you are really stuck or just want to see how it is done, drop me an email and I will let you know when the video is ready to air.