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Painting Without Brushes

Even though paint brushes are a necessary object in order to create an artwork, there are instances wherein you can actually paint without brushes. Painting is all about creativity: pushing your boundaries and leveling up your techniques to the next level. There are different clever ways that you can do to paint without using a brush and by using unconventional art materials instead. In this article, we will discuss several techniques that you can do to up your painting game.

A multi colored abstract painting

The art supplies that we obtain from the arts and crafts are usually the ones that we use when we create artworks. However, some artists find the art store insufficient for their creative needs and that is why they innovate by trying to find new unconventional objects that they can use for making art. It is not a new thing in the art world to welcome unusual ideas and out-of-the-box options from their imagination. Artists who use out-of-the-ordinary materials to paint can be traced way back in time, one of them was abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock, a famous painter in the 1950s known for his eclectic art style such as paint pouring and dripping.

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Jackson Pollock: One of  the Masters behind Unconventional Art

This article will take inspiration from some of Jackson Pollock’s techniques in painting. Pollock is known for his unconventional ways when it comes to creating art, especially on his techniques with drip painting and pouring. Some may critique his art as “chaotic,” however, we can’t deny the fact that he was an artistic genius for stretching out his imagination and redefining modern art and abstract expressionism during his time. 

A blue abstract painting

His style emerged from using house paint and directly pouring, splattering, or dripping it into the canvas. Because of his eclectic technique, the outcome of his paintings are complex, meaningful, and none of them came out similar or exactly the same–which is the beauty of abstract painting in general. His uniqueness and out-of-the-ordinary techniques should serve as an inspiration for beginner artists because it shows that you don’t really need technical skills when it comes to creating art. 

Art Techniques that Don’t Require You to Use Paintbrushes

When in doubt, paint in abstract. Abstract paintings may look chaotic and meaningless to some, but it’s just as creative, important, and complicated like other art styles such as realism and surrealism. Most abstract art allows you to create beautiful paintings without the use of a single paint brush. Here are some of them:

       1.  Ebru/Marbling:

Paper marbling is one of the oldest painting techniques that doesn’t require a paint brush during the whole process. This painting technique emerged in the 15th centuries in Persian countries like Turkey. This requires a mix of water, marbling paint, and paper. You basically drop different colors of the paint onto the water, followed by submerging the paper into the water solution for a few seconds and once the paint was transferred into the paper, you wait for it to dry completely.

You can either buy marbling kits or create your own by using liquid starch and acrylic paint.

Different colors of marble paint cups

      2.  Pouring:

Although this technique only surfaced the internet, it was actually discovered a long time ago by artist David Alfaro Siqueiros in the 1930s. This style is very simple yet fascinating through the whole process. You only need a few materials–canvas, acrylic paint, and a pouring medium to loosen the consistency of your acrylic paint. You pour the paint on top of each other directly to the canvas and tilt it until the canvas is completely covered with paint.

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In this art, no artwork comes out exactly the same! That being said, don’t try to follow the same designs that you see online because they’re hard to replicate. Instead, just go with the flow.

Bright multi colored abstract painting

       3.  Pointillism:

This is by far the simplest technique that doesn’t require you a brush. Typically, you use a pen or a marker with this technique. But when it comes to painting with this style, you only have to use cotton buds. This technique is very similar to mosaic art, but in this case, you only need to create a dot using a cotton bud to your canvas in order to create an image.

A dotted multi colored art

       4.  Splattering:

There are so many ways that you can use this technique. Using a toothbrush, a thick stick, the handle of a plastic spoon, etc. Usually, you use a large canvas or working surface for this style, but it’s really up to you. Make sure to cover your work area with old newspaper or a plastic cover to avoid staining your table or your floor.

A primary colored abstract painting


Using Unconventional Art Supplies for Your Painting

The arts and crafts store isn’t the only place where you can get your art supplies. For some artists, everywhere can be an arts and crafts store as long as you’re open to new ideas and if you allow yourself to find inspiration wherever you go. Some artists find their supplies in their kitchen drawer, the hardware store, in their garden, attic, etc.

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The great thing about not using paint brushes is that they up your painting skills to the next level. Most outcomes when you use unconventional objects in painting cannot be replicated with the use of paintbrush. They give your painting an interesting movement, depth, and variety of textures. Here are some objects that you can find at home and use for your next painting project:

       1.  Fingers:

We were probably introduced to this technique in nursery school but doing this again as an adult can be fun! Our fingerprints are unique and they can’t be replicated by any means which can give an interesting textural depth to our painting.

       2.  Bubble wrap:

Another great way to have a unique texture whenever you paint a background is through painting the bubble wrap and stamping it to your paper or canvas.

       3.  Sponge:

Using a sponge as a painting tool can be very convenient when it comes to blending your paint.

       4.  Credit cards:

The scraping technique is another old method in painting yet it still gives a very stylish, modern finish. You can use any flat objects with scraping such as expired credit cards and squeegees.

       5.  Duct tape:

The pulling technique is sometimes used together with the scraping technique in abstract painting which leaves a texture on your artwork. This can be risky and it’s usually only applicable on canvases or thick working surfaces. 

       6.  Wood:

Wood is a perfect tool for stamping.

       7.  Yarn:

Another known method of painting without the use of brushes is the String pulling technique using a string or a yarn. The effect of this technique usually gives you the outcome of floral-looking images.

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