Drippy doodles

We interrupt your regularly scheduled program for something a little different. A project!

TheGuy and I rent a beautiful century row house (well... townhouse... same thing. But doesn't row house sound more fancy?) near the core of our city. It is beautiful and old and has a stained glass window in the living room and we love it. We love the tall ceilings, the wood floors and the huge, beautiful baseboards.

But there are these walls. These really great large walls. But the thing is, walls in century homes were built with plaster. And plaster in a home which has been rented out for 100 years, and patched, and wallpapered, and painted, and patched, and wallpapered, and painted... well, those walls become pretty interesting. The textures are.. conversation pieces. The irregularities add.. charm. But they've been driving me nuts.

So, we had this long wall in our living room. I wanted something to fit the walls that didn't make me look like a University student. I was at a friend's house a while back (hi James), and he did an absolutely gorgeous painting by dripping paint down canvas in thick, bold colours. So I thought to do my own version. And now I will share it with you.

Disclaimer - I'm not sure that I'm absolutely in love with the colours or the thickness of the lines, but I think it's because I liked James' more. However, who knows. It may grow on me.

How to D-I-Y Drip Painting.

1. Get some paint.

I used latex house paint - the CIL brand was the best - the Behr brand seemed to drip weird and crack - it was almost too thick, whereas the CIL dripped better and spread out more smoothly, so go for that. Pick whatever colours you want. I selected grey, blue and orange because I want to use the grey and blue elsewhere and I thought orange (or tangerine) would be fun!

2. Get a canvas.

(I got mine at Curry's. Get whatever size you want! Get it at the dollar store if you want. Just get canvas [multiple canvases from the dollarstore could look really neat clustered together].)

3. Have some plastic cups

(I used red beer cups so I could chuck 'em when I was done)

4. Have a paint brush handy

(This is for wiping drips off the cup, really.)

5. Paper towel

(If you're as messy as me, you'll want it.)

6. Garbage bags or drop clothes - cardboard.. something

(The point is to drip paint everywhere. So... yeah.. if you like your carpet, or your driveway, or wherever you do this project, you'll probably want to protect it.)

I wanted to drip paint down while the painting was set up as a portrait, and then intended on turning it it to be a landscape image, with the drip-starts on the right so that it would mess with your equilibrium and so the lines would keep drawing your eye inwards, so people would read it like a story book. But you can do whatever you want.

I leaned my canvas up against a wall, and opened the 'base' colour. I picked grey because I like it, and wanted it to be the background drip colour. Stirred the crap out of the paint, and then scooped it right out of the can with my red cup. It took me a bit to learn that it's best to use the paintbrush to wipe off the excess drips - the first layer of grey had lots of stray paint where the cup was dripping all over the place.
I carefully and slowly poured paint from the cup onto the canvas, watching it as I went, applying more as I wanted, so that it would send streaks down the canvas. You could be more ballsy and have a huge streak along one side - it's up to your personal preference. But I started small (once it's there, it's there), and really liked the effect, so I just kept going that way.

I did this in the middle of sanding and painting the cupboards in the kitchen, so I just grabbed my camera phone, which was covered in dust from sanding - hence the beautiful hazy glow in the photos.

 I was pretty happy with this stage, but the little stray drips realllly bothered me. This is when I was trying to use a paper towel to stop it from dripping. It did not work, and was really much more messy...

So much for the manicure!

I let the paint dry for about 3 hours (the can said 6 hours, but I'm impatient), I opened the next colour and did the same thing. This time, I was trying to fill in some blanks, keeping in mind the rule of thirds, to make things more interesting. This was the Behr paint, and it was a lot more thick and didn't drip as nicely.

Step two!
I let it dry for another 3 hours, and then I decided to add another colour so I could have a little pop in the picture. In retrospect, I think it really needed a nice dark charcoal grey streak, but I could always go back and do a nice thick streak over the tangerine. Right now I think I'll let it grow on me.

I flipped this photo on its side so that you can see the direction it will hang on the wall!
 So there you go! That's how to do a quick drip painting. The thing that takes the longest is watching the paint dry. I've heard that you're not actually supposed to watch paint dry, but I did anyway, because I thought it would speed up the process. That actually doesn't work. Kinda like watching a pot boil.

So there! A D-I-Y from me to you! Enjoy!

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