How to Make Paint Splatter on a Drawing

Written by deborah walden
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How to Make Paint Splatter on a Drawing
Splattering paint brings an expressive touch to a drawing. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Several techniques offer easy methods for splatter painting. You can give flare to any drawing by splattering paint over it. This type of painting was popularised by the artist Jackson Pollock in an American art movement called "Abstract Expressionism." Pollock stood above large canvases to splash and splatter paint in broad, gestural movements. You may apply splatter paint in the same large-scale fashion or use a small brush to apply a light spray of onto your drawing.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Mix your paint with thinner to achieve a liquid, runny texture. If using acrylics or watercolours, opt for water. If painting with oils, use turpentine or other desired thinner. Blend your paint and thinner thoroughly.

  2. 2

    Load your brush with paint. Hold your brush near the tip of the handle for a loose, flexible grip. Stand far enough away from your canvas that you can move your arms in broad strokes.

  3. 3

    Flick paint onto your canvas or paper using arching movements from your wrist and shoulder. Use your wrist and arm, not your fingers, to achieve a broad, free range of movement with the brush.

  4. 4

    Allow paint to fly from the brush to the canvas. This will naturally create long arcs of colour with splattered circles and pools of colour.

  5. 5

    To achieve a finer splatter of paint, hold the brush firmly by the handle at a close distance from the canvas or paper. Tap the handle of the brush with the handle of another brush to release a small splatter of paint or run your finger over the bristles of the brush to create a light spray of colour.

Tips and warnings

  • Prop your drawing on a standing easel or lay it on the floor for your most comfortable approach. Experiment with your application techniques. You may move your arms in circular motions to form broad loops of splatter or drizzle paint in zigzags to achieve more pattern and visual interest.
  • Wear a smock or protective clothing and lay dust sheets on your work area to avoid damage from splattering paint.

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