- What Is Alternative Painting? And Why does the Technique Matter?
- Paint techniques with your body
- Paint with different tools
The history of art has begun with scratching. Then, after hundreds of years of treating oil paintings as a top art, nowadays, we try to find other creative options, using different tools and mediums to create the image. Ten original modern techniques of painting, in which the border between the instrument and the art itself becomes unclear, you can find below.
What Is Alternative Painting? And Why does the Technique Matter?
To grasp why one art is called an alternative, we need to think about those arts in which not the image but the dye, tool, and a type of canvas matters.
Alternative painting is not just about using original materials or not using a paintbrush. It is rather about the art where the surface, tool, and technique send the message, sometimes even being the core of art itself. To illustrate the thesis, we can look at the controversial body printing art, which became popular in the second half of the 20th century, symbolizing both decadence of the traditional academic painting and the empowerment of the human body.
For alternative painting techniques, almost every tool could be used as a brush. However, the basis of these artworks is experimentation, expanding, and transforming the very concept of art.
Paint techniques with your body
Using the body in making art is both controversial and diverse. You could paint something on the body, as well as use a body as a brush, stamp, or mold for your canvas. The second option was used by the French artist Yves Klein in the 60th and continued later by a group of artists in the 70th.
Moreover, you could use specific body parts to paint with them. For example, extraordinary hair paintings by Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen were created with the hair, soaked in ink. She filled the canvas with head moves. The performances and artworks made by the artist were an interpretation of ‘Loving Care’ by Janine Antoni, where the artist soaked her hair with dye and mopped the canvas the same
Project “Vestige” by Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen, Manila 2017
Another creative option is painting with fingers. We used to consider it childish, but the paintings by Iris Scott prove this stereotype is wrong. Except for the fact that you can paint whatever you want using fingers, you also enjoy the sensory experience you have from it. So finger painting could be both art and art therapy. To make finger painting, you need to acknowledge that you should have a strict plan for your art to be impressive, which is not really needed when you paint with a whole body or hair.
Also, you can try to paint with your feet or toes, as it works for the art by Kazuo Shiraga. As you see from this part, using the body as a brush is a widespread technique. So just try, and you will see which approach works the best for you.
Read more: How to Create a 3D Drawing
Paint with different tools
- You can paint whatever you like, right? Impasto technique offers you a way of painting where you play with textures, and layers in such a way that you can finally achieve a painting, which looks like a 3D image. For this, you should have thick and opaque paintings, like oils, acrylic, gouache, or tempera. As an instrument, you can use a palette knife, large brushes, or a card.
- An alternative to the impasto technique is the painting with a card. Instead of a palette knife, there you could use the flat side of a card, as Mike Bernard did. This way is an affordable and more accessible strategy for students. The ability to cut, fold and transform the card in so many ways makes this method of painting one of the most flexible for creating a brilliant piece of art.
- For liquid paints, you also could try a pouring technique, which was used widely among abstract expressionists. Starting from the experimental works by David Alfaro, the technique was also used later by Jackson Pollock, Morris Louis, and Helen Frankenthaler to create original and pure colored artworks. Spilling different colors directly on the canvas, everyone can reach outstanding results.
- One more promising technique of painting is the airbrush. Since 1800 it was a widespread tool for photo retouching. By now, this technique is popular among the painters, who make a piece of art without any brushstrokes. This device, which works with compressed air to spray the paint onto the canvas, could be used to create a hyperrealistic piece of art. Using it, you can make such smooth color gradations, so the paintings would seem like a photo. You also can make an abstract artwork - with this device in your hands, every painting idea becomes possible.
- Another creative technique for modern painters is dry painting. For this, you can use colored sands, as well as any powdered pigments from natural minerals or crystals, as well as synthetic materials. As a paint, even charcoal or pollen powder can be used. However, the most common material for dry painting is colored sand. Most of the artworks made in this technique are temporary. However, one can make the dry artworks almost eternal by using glues or specific canvases.
- The way of painting where the painter intentionally prefers to lose control of his artwork is painting with a palette knife or a squeegee. This technique of pulling and scrapping became widespread, due to Dutch abstract expressionist Willem de Kooning and German painter Gerhard Richter. The artists loved the idea that the control of artwork is transmitted to a tool, so the concept of the Death of The Author, presented by Roland Barthes, is realized here practically. To try this original technique, you need to drag, scrape and smear the layers.
- Originally from Turkey and Central Asia, the Ebru painting technique, also known as paper marbling, is now used worldwide. For this, we have to thank Medieval travelers, which brought the knowledge of it to Europe. To make an Ebru technique you need dyes, a water-based solution, and a set of tools. Then you add the paint to the water base, and with the assistance of a specific instrument, called an awl, you make a painting. After this point, you need to transfer your result to another piece of paper. That is a tricky technique, demanding some level of mastery. However, in such a way, you can make swirling and mysterious patterns, which could become art itself or the part of a collage or another piece of art.
From here you learned some outstanding original methods of painting. But if you want to acquire thorough skills in academic painting or graphic design, contact the tutors of UpSkillsTutor platform. Our tutors will help you to master the basic skills for your artworks to become much more convincing and expressive.