Playing with Grounds

Every creative keeps a special place in their craft that's open to experimentation and I'm no different. Sure playing with lights and shadows is fun. Adding new media is also a bit thrilling. But, lately I've found a peaceful place playing with grounds.

Comfortable Habits

When it comes to grounds, my general go to is spray painting the surface of my canvas with various colors loosely determined my the composition I've envisioned. Then I proceed to cover the canvas loosely with a warm brown until the canvas is covered and everything is laid in. Sometimes, depending on how the spray paint has sparked my imagination, this final composition is extremely different from my original vision. But from this point I'm locked in and the canvas ground is prepared.

New Addition

However, lately I've been working out new ways of doing this. I still use the spray paint method because theres just something so spontaneous and inspiring about the way the colors kaleidoscope. It's like finding unicorns and bunnies in the clouds, you never know what you're gonna get.

But instead of loosely begining a composition, I'll add unique brush stroke patterns, many on one canvas. I find this technique so fulfilling. I may use short criss crossing strokes of heavy paint to lay in a background, and long wavy strokes for the foreground, with some speckle streaks for other elements in the composition.

Adding to the fun, I don't stick to warm browns. Instead I play with warm and cools in several mid-tone colors.


In all honesty, this experimentation has not come up roses every time. Doesn't matter much no me because I'm sure I'm hitting on something. Whoop whoop! Once I figure it out of course. Whomp whomp whomp! It's still so much fun and I'm really motivated by the depth and character given to the overall painting (the successful ones) at the end. Anyhoo...

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