48 x 36″ acrylic, ink, and holographic glitter on canvas
Junior Rabbit’s Big Adventure by Blake Brasher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
This is one of Liv’s favorites.
I love the raw explosive energy in this painting. It’s like, “I do what I want”. I think the colors are kind of weird in a good way, that yellow usually shouldn’t hang around so close to that turquoise and blue, but here it actually works.
I’ve been experimenting with edge treatments. I painted this canvas’s edges cobalt teal at the beginning of the process with loose, imperfect brushstrokes. During the creating of the painted surface these edges acquired various drip marks and splatters. I think these are nice because they help tell the story of how the painting was made. I used to be against addressing the edges of the canvas at all, but now I think that the edges are part of what separates the painting itself from images of the painting. Part of what make it a physical object. My work has been getting more and more textured over the past couple years, and I think the painted edges give it more depth and physicality.
I made this painting using what I’m starting to refer to as my cream cheese technique. That’s where I do a quick underpainting in acrylic (or in watercolor if I’m working on paper), and then smear a thick coat of white acrylic paint (or sometimes gloss medium) over the underpainting. This pretty much obliterates the underpainting, which is really more about setting a mood and sketching out compositional ideas than actually contributing to the final painted surface, but the smeared paint picks up some of the pigment from the underpainting and moves it around in streaky patterns. The result is a really washed out and textured background. I try to put about a half centimeter of material across the entire canvas, using a rubber spatula type tool. It’s a lot like frosting a cake.
After the smear I add pigmented inks using glass eye-dropper like devices (ink droppers, I think they are called, most ink bottles come with them attached to the lid). I draw the droppers through the smear, plowing through the material and leaving a hollowed out path in its wake that fills with the ink. You can see a nice example of this in the middle left part of this painting: that turquoise line with the white edges. I also drip some ink around, sketching out territories for the different colors.
Next I mist the painting with water. This breaks the surface tension of the inks and makes it push its way into its surroundings. This is my favorite part because the painting suddenly comes alive with moving, morphing, and mixing colors. I’ll usually stop and just watch it for a little while. Sometimes I’ll adjust the tilt of the canvas to encourage material to flow in one direction or another.
Into this matrix of very wet paints I apply even more paints and inks, squeezing specially prepared acrylics out of squeeze bottles and dripping inks into little puddles where the colors mingle with their new neighbors. There’s a bit of pallet knife work here in the lower left corner, where the yellows and magentas are smeared together.