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The Sketch-Paint Technique Unveiled

Today, I'm excited to introduce you to a simple yet creative 3-step technique that I've developed to make the most of leftover paint. I must note that I've gathered various tips and ideas from online sources, so my approach isn't entirely novel. Ever since I embarked on my artistic journey in 2019, I've been determined to utilize every drop of unused paint. This can mean adding it to a sketchbook, an extra canvas, an existing painting, or even scattering it across my work area and desk. I've even embraced my journal, a humble composition book, as a canvas. Let's dive into my "sketch-paint" technique.

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” John Wooden


Step 1: Start by adding any surplus or leftover paint to a sketchbook or journal, preferably on paper. The beauty of this technique lies in its lack of strict rules; you can layer paint to your heart's content. For this example, I used some green paint for the grass and then I've simply impressed my leftover palette onto the paper (dark green spots).


Photo of Step 1


Step 2: Once the paint has dried, use a pen to outline or ink whatever you perceive within the paint shapes. If you find it challenging to discern any distinct forms, feel free to connect lines or create your own interpretation. You can employ a fine-point pen, a bold Sharpie, or, for canvas, acrylic pens.


Photo of Step 2


Step 3: Now, bring your custom image to life by filling it in with markers. It's akin to coloring in your very own coloring book. I generally keep the palette limited to avoid overcomplicating the composition, but the choice of colors is entirely up to your creative vision.


Photo of Step 3


Benefits: This technique offers a dual benefit. First, it allows me to use up any excess paint, ensuring none goes to waste. The freedom to work without a specific intent is liberating. Sometimes, I simply smear or stamp the leftover paint, often achieving better results with my eyes closed. Secondly, this technique provides structure and a launching point for my creative process. It's an embrace of the unknown, letting the process dictate the final outcome. I also find that it enhances my sketching skills and encourages experimentation with the fusion of paint and ink on various surfaces, be it paper or canvas.

Conclusion: Last night, I managed to outline and color "plant machine printer" in just an hour. I completed this in two sessions, doing the outline before dinner and adding the colors later. In the past, a project like this would have taken me considerably longer. My inspiration struck when I glimpsed the dried paint in my open sketchbook. The moment I took a break from painting, I grabbed a pen and began to sketch and doodle. Here are a few examples from my sketchbooks, showcasing the evolution of this technique.


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