View Full Version : Creative Play

10-29-2002, 09:55 AM
Okay, as you can see my "What do you Add to Your paint" got moved. I have spoken to the powers that be, and they say we have to keep it on a "Creativity Level".

So, What do you add to your paint, in a Creative way?

I am going to find out if I can cut and paste the replies that already were left, and if not, PLEASE repost them!

Also, if you know of any Creativity books that have paint application examples, please tell us about them.



10-29-2002, 01:55 PM
Hi All You Creative People, I want you to know that behind the scene's Hummingbird and I are fighting for this thread. I have sought and received permission to retrieve our original posts from where they were moved, and place them in this thread.

Because Creativity is not just about what is going on in your heart and soul, but also How we can advance our work with "hands on" applications.

So, Please, continue to post on this thread. Anything you have found or use to enhance your Creative impulses and make them manifest in your actual work.

Please share.


I am interested in texture and effects- in short I am a "Special Effects" kind of person. I have added dry spackle to my gesso in the past. I know that watercolorists are Always sprinkling salt, using sponges and in general, being "Super Creative". I'd like to hear more about that. Do those "additives" work with acrylic paint as well?

I use a 50/50 mix of stand oil and turpenoid. As I paint I slobber on the medium and that's what has allowed my style to loosen up.

I'd like to hear what other things you have tried, so I can expand my working tools.


DK, What the heck. Sovek is one of my favorites and I have taken workshops with him. Did you just do the NYC WS? Tell us more, please!!!


Senior Member


oooh I'm glad you started this thread Renee! Thats what I want to know too. Ok, for me..the only thing I add to my acrylic paint is Golden's Gel Medium Extra Heave Matte. That gives alot of texture to my abstracts. I just very recently started playing around with pushing paint around with sticks...I know it sounds weird. I had posted an example of this in the Abstract forum...

Take a look at this

I've also used those plastic grocery bags you get at the store...cut a chunck off, wadded it into a ball, and pressed that into my paint to get effects. Similar I think to how watercolorists do that with plastic wrap.

Pat's Paintings website

art auctions

"All our interior world is reality, and that, perhaps, more so than our apparent world."--Marc Chagall

Senior Member


Me, too
Hi Renee,

I, too, use the stand oil and terp recipe. I learned this from my class with Charles Sovek last year. I love the creamy, loose strokes it produces with the oils.

I've also been known to use sand mixed in my oils to add that gritty texture.

For acrylics, I use the gel medium and add it often to make the acrylics look and "feel" more like oil.

One question, when you 'slobber' on your medium do you get any funny looks from people??

Have fun!


Renee, can you remember the discussion we had in the oil forum on textures? Ok ok i know we have a LOT of them there. A good one of course being one of the threads that you started, which is now in the Hall of Fame. But there was another goody, i believe started by Aurora. I cannot for the life of me find that one! I'll continue to look

you'll shoot your eye out! (For Gisela)

Boy are you in the right place Renee
We have a project started here by Jolie on just that subject.
Here is the link


There are also several threads in here on the subject.
I'll see what I can find for you.

This may be of some help

Have you ever been on
www.goldenpaints.com ?
They have excellent descriptions of products to use with acrylics.


10-29-2002, 02:55 PM
I think creative play is a very necessary part of nurturing our artistic selves. :) One thing that i found to be a lot of fun was to buy a box of caryons. I was feeling like a kid and having fun with them and got the idea to melt them.:evil: I started drizzling them onto an inexpensive canvas board. This is actually similar to encaustics, which i've never explored but since i had so much fun with the crayons i may very well do that! Another thing that was born of my crayon play was that i developed a serious fondness for texture. I now find ways to incoporate heavy textures into a lot of my paintgs. Not all of them, but a lot. This is, IMO an exiting development that came from creative 'play'. And shows us how important 'playing' can be when it comes to sparking creativity. I think it can work to renew ourselves when we feel like we're getting into that rut that we sometimes do. Paper Mache is another fun one and you can actually paint ANY medium over it!!! Lot's of fun!

10-29-2002, 03:47 PM
Cheryl, I think I will have to buy my crayons now!

Plus, I cannot remember the recipe for paper mache. Can you refresh my memory, please? I think it was flour, water and newspapers, right? Do you shred the newspaper?

Also, in my mind I see a series of canvases with a life mask of myself on them. Who has done this? Isn't there some kind of dental material one can make a mask out of? How do you adhere the mask to the canvas or support?

I think that would be creative, creepy and cool all at the same time, like the box of nails you impress with your face! :eek: What a weird feeling that is to look at yourself made out of steel.


10-29-2002, 04:02 PM
Hi everyone,

Like some of the other members have mentioned I like to use different found items to manipulate my paint. Some of these items include bubble wrap, old carpet remnants, old kitchen spatulas, real leaves, cheese cloth. It is so much fun to see what types of textures these things make when you imprint them into paint. One of my best discoveries is the orange netting that comes on the crates of clementine oranges you get at the grocery store. I used this on fresh paint on a papier mache fish I had made, and when I lifted it off after the paint had dried I had instant fish scales! Another product that is great for adding textures and features to art pieces is acrylic modeling paste. It is very versatile, you can even sand it.

I am in complete agreement with Cheryl about playing with papier mache. You can make anything with it and it is very economical and enviro. friendly. I am always hoarding recycleable materials like juice containers, cardboard, and shampoo bottles for my mache projects. It is great to see what you can make from nothing. As an aside there is a great TV show for kids called Art Attack which has lots of neat art ideas including paper mache that I find inspiring. I think it is a Scottish show - I have seen it in Canada on TVO and the family network, I'm not sure about the U.S. and other countries though.

I'm glad I wrote this. Now I'm feeling pumped to take one of my projects from the "half done" bin and finish it off.

10-29-2002, 04:17 PM
Renee, I just noticed your reply after I posted my reply:) .

Here is a p. mache recipe that I really like:

Put 2-3 tablespoons wallpaper paste into a quart jar about half full of lukewarm water.

Let the flakes from the paste dissolve.

Add 1/2 cup plain white glue and finish filling the jar with water

Put the lid on the jar and shake it thoroughly for a couple of minutes.

Let the jar stand for 10-15 minutes.

It is now ready to use. This will last for several weeks in your refrigerator.

If you find it is a bit too thick, just add extra water as needed.

I prefer this recipe to ones with flour, because the flour has been known to attract bugs. In addition, wallpaper paste has a fungicide in it which repels mold production.

In terms of the newspaper, I tear strips of whatever size I need going with the grain. You don't want to cut it as this will leave you with hard edges that will be more obvious. It is a good idea to make 1 layer newspaper then alternate with some other paper for the next layer so you can see what you've already covered, and it will add extra strength, particularly if you use a paper like printer/copier and/or brown paper from grocery bags.

If you want to get even more indepth with paper mache you can make a pulp that is sculptable from newspaper. Feel free to ask questions or if you would like to know about the pulp.

Have fun!


10-30-2002, 06:17 PM
I use the standard news paper, flour, water mixture but sometimes throw in a little plaster of paris if i want it to be durable. I haven't experienced any problems with bugs but that might be because i varnish the dry peice with acrylic varnish when it's done. I find that if you tear the paper into peices (they don't have to be small peices) and just let it soak for a few hours or even over night in the sink it turns really mushy. :D lots of fun to squish between your fingers! i then scoop it up into a strainer and let the water drain out for a little while. I then put it into a bowl & mix in the other ingredients. This gives me the pulp-sculptable kind. I have had a lot of fun doing these things that we did as kids and turned out some pretty cool stuff (pats herself on the back :D) Try some of this stuff and see if you're not totally inspired to work on other things as well! ;) I'll post a couple of pictures when i get home from work tonight.

PS!!! Important! You can wrap this mixture up really well in aluminum foil and store the left overs in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks! caution>> If you use your sink to soak the paper you'll have to scour it out afterwards LOL!


10-30-2002, 08:49 PM
Cheryl and Arleigh, Okay, c'mon, you have to show us what you are making with your papier mache ( anyone see the Seinfeld episode when George's girlfriend kept using the french pronunciation?)!

Are you making wire molds first? All I can envision is those hideous lumpy ashtrays I used to make for my Mom! :D


10-30-2002, 10:41 PM
i especially enjoy imaginary conversations. or, dialogue opportunities either imagined or sometimes created through written notes in journal form, or more recently in emails.

before my days as a plein air painter, i could easily delve into inumerable types of forms of creative play involving manipulation of materials. once, someone showed me how to use a crochet hook to make two rows. these two rows continued for about a two week period until i finally ended with a woven piece surely large enough to cover one's roof ! my friends laugh about this rather large and heavy blanket ! it is in every color imaginable - rather available - in yarns....cheap ones too. it became, in my mind, my coat of MANY COLORS ! cats love to sleep on it....though it takes a great amount of space when folded.

i think we have stored it away in the lofts of one of the barns.......perhaps the bats are nesting in it tonight !


10-31-2002, 01:22 AM
Renee, will take a couple of pics in the morning. :) Ted!!LOL! I have one of those enormous afgans too! :D I didn't realize how carried away i'd gotten until my mom aked me "Um... just how big are you going to make that thing anyway???" It covers my king sized bed and touches the floor an all sides! :) Weighs a ton!

10-31-2002, 08:02 AM
Morning Renee. I would vote for the wallpaper paste papier mache recipe instead of the flour paste one. I taught classes in papier mache to children at our local park district. It was always a very popular class but we had the classes in the basement of an old school they converted to the Park District. Well, it was too damp down there..the papier mache started to mold while it was drying once. That was with the flour mixture. If you really want to do this use the wallpaper paste one.

Ask your library to get you a book called "The Art and Craft of Papier Mache" by Juliet Bawden. It a beautiful book with gorgeous photos. Will give you lots and lots of ideas cause you can see how papier mache artists are working. Theres another book, geared to children but its excellant and gives you a really good foundation for papier mache. I forget the exact title, I'll have to check next time I'm at the library..its the book I used with the kids. It has fat cats in it Renee like in the tinyheads. You'd like it :)

I think I have a photo around here of the papier mache cats we did but I'm not sure where to start looking. If I can find it, I will post it.

About the armatures...you can use any number of things, it depends what you are making. Chicken mesh is good, start saving paper towel and toilet paper tubes, you can make bowls from existing bowls, you can work over balloons and save plastic grocery bags cause you can always fill those with newspaper to get rounded shapes...you need lots of masking tape.


10-31-2002, 08:25 AM
Cracking up Cheryl about your afghan! Sounds like it could cover two beds :) I've got a crochet ripple afghan I'm working on, my first, but its only half way done. Good winter project. In the winter I like to do crazy quilting and am trying to learn crochet. Just too hot to do in the summer tho.


10-31-2002, 09:17 AM
Afternoon chat once turned into "how many crayola crayons can you recall the names of" LOL...so we set up a Crayon project and I went out to buy some new crayons (my daughter had taken all of ours to college with her - she still colors to this day!) I found that you could get boxes with bookoodles of new colors! I went a little crazy and bought every new box I could find for a week!! LOL

I did a couple of take-offs of Cezanne paintings with the Crayolas! Had a lot of fun...and when my daughter is home, she takes them out and ooh's and aah's over them....but I won't share!

And for books that have loads of creative textures, techniques...pick up "any" of the Mary Todd Beam books. Wonderful for turning on the muse!

10-31-2002, 01:44 PM
Renee, thanks for your interest! Here is a photo of a small pulp papier mache bowl I made a while back. It measures 4 inches across by 2.5 inches deep. The colours are a bit more muted in real life. Unfortunately I made the mistake of using a satin varnish on it which made it too shiny and doesn't suit the pulp texture. Also, the varnish was very weird in that it frothed up and became bubbly :eek: . I will post a 2nd image in another reply as I don't really know what I'm doing so I'll see if this one works first.


10-31-2002, 02:07 PM
Okay, that worked! I will just post one more image. I hope that 's okay, I don't want to overload this thread. This second image is a wip photo of a paper mache fish. The body is made from a blown up balloon and the fins were made from thin card that I cut out, stuffed with paper and masking taped together, then attached to the balloon. This was covered with 8 layers of paper strips. Then I added the eyes and mouth which were made with pulp. When the pulp dried it looked a bit mottled so I have been building up the eyes and mouth with acrylic modeling paste. I still need to do a bit more work in that area. In terms of the body, I'm going to do one final layer of bits of tissue paper. This helps to hide the strips of the mache and gives a nice, textured look. Then I will gesso the whole thing and begin the painting stage. This guy measures 13x13x7 inches.


I forgot to mention in the above thread that I made the bowl by lining a small glass bowl with plastic wrap, then filling the bowl with pulp all around the inside. I let it dry for about 7 days, then easily popped it out of the bowl and painted it with acrylics. I love doing bowls because they are so simple to do and can be decorated in so many ways.

I also really like the Juliet Bawden book suggested by Hummingbird. Another great one is Papier Mache Style by Alex Macormick (sp?). There are lots of bowls like the one I did in that book along with tons of other neat stuff. I'm sure you'll be very inspired by these books.

I could blab on and on about paper mache so I better stop myself or this thread is liable to get way out of control :D .

Ron van den Boogaard
11-01-2002, 09:40 AM
Apart from all the commercial, moddling and moldong pastes, gels, i found that having a long-haired dog always left some hairs in my painting, so now I use ythat in abundance. Having done this for awhile I have now traded up to hair of horse-tails in my paintings.
As for the objects I make: corrugated cardboard drenched in polymere resins.

Ron vd B (http://home.wanadoo.nl/brainbox)

11-01-2002, 05:33 PM
Ron, I know what you mean about the pet hair. It always seems like some is getting stuck in whatever I'm working on. Your cardboard objects sound interesting. Do you have any pictures of them? I would love it if you could tell me more about the polymer resins you use. A while back I was looking into finding ways of making my paper mache creatures more durable by using resins and/or fiberglass but I found the whole thing really confusing. I didn't know what products to use and the option of using fiberglass seemed a little scary.

Btw, I looked at your website and I especially like "Requiem for PeterII".

Ron van den Boogaard
11-04-2002, 09:07 AM

there are indeed a lot of poly- and monomere resins on the market, but it is not all that confusing as it seems. Most of them can (and are supposed to) be used with fibreglass, but that's not neccesarry. The onlly real important thing is to get a clear one, when thinned down with thinner it can just be painted on any object. A few layers will give quite some sturdyness and strenght.

Unfortunately I haven't got any pictures of them yet, but will let you know when this happens.

Also thanks for the compliments on "Requiem for Peter II". It's an odd one out in what I usually do, but I don't like to censor myself, so there are many odd ones. Actually at this moment doing a series of graphic portraits of shoes.
This goes terribly "Off Topic" in this thread, which on other places on the web is a severe crime punishible by "flaming". So I'll quit here

Ron vdB (http://home.wanadoo.nl/brainbox)

11-06-2002, 11:01 AM

Thanks so much for your help with resins. That made things much clearer for me. I had no idea they could be thinned down. I thought I would have to pour it on my object which seemed like it would be a very difficult undertaking.

Good luck with your shoe series. That sounds like an interesting project!

little dreamer
11-23-2002, 04:47 PM
~ i made my own tiles from sculpey polymer clay and bake in the oven and painted them different, painted a glass bottle with gesso, then pastels and some acrylics. then glued the mini tiles on the bottle.~
~little dreamer~

12-01-2002, 11:53 AM
I have been working with a book entitled, Celebrate your Creative Self, by Mary Todd Beam.

I highly recommend this book, Chapter 7 Celebrating the Power of Play, asks have we lost it? What happened to painting freely like a child? to get that freedom back, let go of all preconceived ideas about the outcome of your work.

The book is full of different ideas and projects using supplies from the kitchen, different textures using gel mediums, gesso, mica flakes, crayons, aluminum foil, saran wrap, etc. a variety of materials. "Give artists any kind of material and they'll make art."

"In order for my work to continue to evolve, I become involved in playfulness and take the oportunity to look at the 'what-ifs.' Whatever the result, it expands my vision by letting go of who I think I am and discovering the spirit within." Jean Deemer

Thought I would pass this info on..this thread seemed appropriate...