Wet Bernese Shaking – Impressionist Style

Wet Bernese Dog ShakingThey say that a change is as good as a rest … and today felt like a ‘make-mistakes, get-messy’ kind of day … SO … having taken a *huge* step out of my comfort zone – my first finger painting is finished !

I’ve had an urge to dabble with finger painting for ages, after being inspired by Iris Scott, and finally found a day to play with the water soluble oil paints I picked up last year… I have reached several conclusions:

1. A change *really is* as good as rest
2. Finger painting is even *more* messy than you think it will be
3. This technique *needs* practice … and eats through paint … but is *much* faster than realism drawing !
4. However many tubes you bought, you won’t have the colours you *really* need … let it go, improvise and work with what you have
5. You’ll never do justice to the finer details applying paint with sausage fingers instead of pencil points.. let it go and find another way to get the message across
6. Once you have made a mess, made mistakes, improvised and let it go … there are worse ways to spend a Friday afternoon for sure ! 

The first mistake was made months ago, when, fresh from flicking through Iris Scott’s book Finger Painting Weekend Workshop
I bought a random selection of water soluble oils and picked up the same natural earthy tones I use most often in my realism drawings, when in fact this style of painting works best with bolder, brighter colours.

The second mistake was a double edged boo-boo … not only did I use black … I applied it early in the process and found myself battling to avoid the whole thing becoming a grey and muddy mess… the subject I chose needed black for sure … but I think it should have been applied over rather than under the indigo and dark purple.

Mistake number three was underestimating the amount of paint, latex gloves and paper towel I would get through ! Note to self for next time (and yes, there will be a next time…) perhaps a damp cloth would have been better than dry paper towels !

Acrylic paints dry far too quickly for this style of painting. Water soluble oil paints should dry faster than traditional oil paints but it’s worth keeping in mind that after a fun day playing in the paint-box you’ll be left with wet a canvas that needs several days to dry.

For me, the hardest part of this process was letting go of ‘control’ and focussing on the feeling of the moment rather than trying to capture the finer details of the individual subject. My drawings take several days to complete, whereas this painting was finished in an afternoon.

I’ve learnt a lot, I’ve had some fun and the mess has been cleared away. I’ll certainly approach the next finger-painting project differently, but as far as enjoying a Friday afternoon pressing the artistic ‘reboot’ button goes – I can wholeheartedly recommend  Finger Painting