Different Strokes: Drippy Drops

Drippy drops make up the third stage of my process. Once my awesome surfaces are dry I choose several spice bottles in which to combine stronger grays.

drops, acrylic, semi-abstract, landscape, mixed media
Selecting the colour combinations.

Drops are runny grays

Three of my favorite mixes are dioxazine purple DP and phthalocyanine green (yellow shade) PGY, phthalocyanine blue (red shade) PBR and quinacridone burnt orange QBO, and phthalocyanine green (blue shade) PGB and QBO. The mix must flow. And well aware of the danger of adding too much water (it causes the acrylic binder to break down), I choose liquid media to enhance the drippiness.

drops, blog, semi-abstract, mixed media
Three jars for each set of complimentary colours.

Proportions of liquid must be right

The proportions are approximately forty percent liquid gloss medium with forty percent GAC 100, ten percent water and two gobs, one of each complementary colour. For more variety, I choose two more spice bottles with the same mix only I slant the combination to one colour or the other. For example, in the middle mix there would be equal proportions of DP and PGY producing the truest gray for this mixture. The next bottle would still fall into the gray category with a purple slant while the other would have a greener look. In the end, I have three bottles of the same two colours in different proportions.

drops, semi-abstract, mixed media, blog, landscape
Gridding the photo.
drops, blog, semi-abstract, mixed media
Notan study.











Where to throw the paint

Before I proceed to throwing paint, I choose a photograph and do a quick notan study to determine where I would like my darkest darks.

drops, semi-abstract, mixed media, blog
Throwing paint around is the best part.
drops, semi-abstract, acrylic, mixed media, landscape

Flinging drops is far from an exact science

Now for the fun part! I enjoy accidents. I find there are more happy accidents when I use more than one gray so I arrange three sets of bottles with their separate brushes (nine in all) within easy access. Larger canvases prove more difficult as I run out of table space. Next, I select a brush and begin to fling paint at the surface, carefully aiming (without a lot of accuracy) at the areas I have chosen to be darker than the rest.

drops, semi-abstract, mixed media, landscape, blog
Ready, aim, fire!
drops, blog, semi-abstract, mixed media, landscape
Turning while squirting.







Causing mayhem

Once I have thrown sufficient paint at the panel I pick up my spray bottle and begin turning the canvas as I spray. The gobs of paint become drips and the drops turn into branches twisting into a mayhem of twigs and stems. Judging whether I have thrown enough paint, I may redo this step again. Perhaps a third time will be necessary after it has dried.

drops, semi-abstract, mixed media, landscape
Edges collect unwanted water puddles.
drops, semi-abstract, mixed media, landscape
Lifting more water.








Reducing the damage

Placing the canvas on the table I wait for the paint to form puddles. There are certain areas where I do not wish the paint to collect, in particular along the edges. Using a piece of paper towel, tissue or toilet paper I remove the excess water before it creates a visual problem.

drops, semi-abstract, acrylic, mixed media, landscape
drops, semi-abstract, acrylic, mixed media, landscape
Is there enough?

Judging when to stop

Using the mirror above the table I get a distant look at the vague value shapes and decide to let it dry. Occasionally I return to check on edges and puddling in the wrong places. Once dry I place them at the end of the room to determine whether another throwing session is in order.

drops, acrylic, semi-abstract, landscape
Ready for the next step.

Next: finding the shapes.


Hope everyone is enjoying this delightful summer. Until next week, abundant blessings.



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