My sister had borrowed my acrylic paints a while back, planning to make a large abstract painting to decorate her bedroom. So a few weeks ago, we decided to make a painting date- to just do it, because this girl has been hanging on to my art supplies for a year now. But she was unable to bring her too-big canvas along on her last visit, so I started this one, to show her how quickly you could make abstract art… but mine ended up taking a lot longer.
A few hours before she showed up a few Saturdays ago, I covered the canvas in 2 different shades of blue- Ultramarine and Pthalocyanine. The darker color being on the outside edges, and more so on the bottom half of the piece, to give it some weight. I just squirted the paint from the tube, and spread it on using horizontal brushstrokes, using a 3 inch brush I got years ago at the hardware store. I ended up using 2 large tubes to cover this 36×48″ canvas, and it took me about 40 minutes. I was also certain to cover the edges of the canvas! My sister walked in with my mom and saw this blue on blue sea and said “that’s exactly what I want,” but of course I couldn’t leave it at that. I had to add those black circles, which I added a gel medium to. It thickened up the paint and gives it A LOT of texture. I mixed it about half and half. It also made it more opaque, which I don’t like the look of, so I went back after they dried and put some more black paint over them, without the gel medium. To add contrast, I encircled those circles with apple green lines… they were like glow in the dark! So of course, I had to add a wash (paint and water mixed 50-50) over the entire thing. And voila! Here we have it. I’m still debating on putting a varnish on it… I read that acrylics are very susceptible to dust and debris over time, but also that varnishes can act as a solvent and cause the painting to go mushy. Any thoughts or advice would be so appreciated.

Here’s the painting in its home over our bed: