Splatter Paint Methods

Painters of fine art use splatter techniques at times.

Splatter painting can be used in a variety of applications. Ink, paint or dye can be used to create pieces ranging from greeting cards to home art projects to museum quality fine art. You can splatter paint practically anything if you have the protected space to do the work. Some artists take their used drop cloths and cut the splattered segments into art pieces. Other artists use the paper placed underneath their art as a background surface for future artwork.

Easiest Splatter Technique

Drape your working surface with a drop cloth or with a protective covering. Place your art piece on the protected surface. Then dip your paint brush into paint. Sling the paint onto the surface. Take care not to sling the paint onto an unprotected surface, such as ceiling or walls. Thinner paint will make more translucent splatter while full strength paint will make thick splatter and may even add texture to your piece. This technique will create medium sized splatters. Continue, changing color or thickness as needed, until you have the design you want.

Artist Studio Method

If you have a large protected area such as a studio, you may wish to try the balloon technique. Small balloons, typically used as water balloons, are filled with various colors of paint, ink or dye. The balloons are then thrown onto the canvas, paper, fabric or other material. The material may be lying on the floor, or for a splatter-and-run technique the material may be tilted at an angle or set upright on an easel. The colors will bleed and run together as the various balloons pop and explode onto the surface. This is a part of the beauty of this splatter technique. This technique creates large blob-type splatters and smaller splashes as the balloons pop.

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Screen and Toothbrush Method

A piece of window screen or wire mesh from a hardware store can be combined with a toothbrush for a very fine splatter method. Cut the screen material small enough to hold in one hand, or staple it onto a sturdy frame. You can buy pieces of framing typically used for canvas at most art supply stores. Hold the screen above the art project. Dip the toothbrush into thinned paint, ink, or dye and brush it across the screen. A fine screen and a light dip into the media will make tiny splatters. A coarser screen will make larger splatters. More paint, ink or dye on the brush will also make larger splatters. The splatters can be made more transparent by thinning the media. Use caution in cutting and holding metal screening material. Sturdy leather or kevlar gloves may be advisable to protect hands from the sharp edges.

Additional Methods

You can create your own additional splatter paint methods by experimenting until you find the effect you are looking for. Scrape your thumbnail across a loaded toothbrush. Try slinging paint from a larger paintbrush. Dip pencils or dowel rods of various sizes into the media and let them drip onto the design surface. The drips will create their own splatter patterns and may also drizzle down into interesting shape and color combinations. Try using a straw to blow some of the drips into different directions. The only rule to remember in splatter painting is that there are no rules. The artist creates until the art is satisfactory to her.

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