Top 10 Favorite Products for Creating Abstract Art
Updated: Apr 1, 2021
I get asked all the time what products I use the most so I thought I would share with you my top 10 favorites. In the coming months I will be demonstrating through videos how I create certain effects utilizing these products with different brushes, sponges, feathers etc.
These are my favorites all available at Blick Art Supplies, this is a link to the store:
Blick (I am an affiliate of Blick and will make a commission on products you purchase.)
1. Golden Satin Glazing Liquid
You all know how much I ❤️this product. It is incredible stuff to put on your canvas to keep your acrylic colors flowing and easier to blend. I have tried others, but this is by far such a superior glazing liquid. A must try!
How to use:
When I initially begin a new canvas, I will generously brush on a coat of watered-down glazing liquid (3 parts glazing liquid to 1 part water) with a big brush and then apply my acrylic paint with a slightly wet brush. After I brush on varying colors (working in small sections at a time) I will use a 4-inch dry brush to soften, blend and often new hues appear. The glazing liquid will stay tacky so be careful not to go back in later to add more color. Once thoroughly dry (12 hours or overnight) you can begin to add more layers of color. At this point I may choose to add the watered-down glazing liquid to a few areas of my canvas or directly onto my slightly wet brush before picking up some acrylic color.
2. Simple Yellow Kitchen Sponge (Art before dishes)
This may sound too simple, but a sponge is one of my favorite tools. The amount of pressure applied, and the wetness of the sponge can give you heavy to translucent results.
How to use:
It is amazing how many effects you can create with such a simple, inexpensive sponge. Depending on the amount of dampness and the amount of paint you pick up, depth and transparency will change. I like to work with just a slightly dampened sponge and a tad a paint on the upper left corner of the rectangle sponge. Once I dab some paint on it, I will wipe it gently a few times on a piece of paper before applying to the canvas. After making a few mates on the canvas, I will soften in areas with a dry brush and blend.
These paints give a lot of punch and are extremely affordable. They are highly pigmented and have a great range of colors. People ask what I use to create my deep purples and pinks...these are it.
4. Sennelier Extra Fine Acrylique
I cannot say enough great comments about Sennelier Extra fine acrylics.
These paints are not cheap but are worth every dollar as they contain some of the highest quality pigments. My all-time favorite is turquoise #341. I came across this color by a traveling artist that stopped by my studio while vacationing in Cabo and generously gifted me this. When this turquoise is mixed with black it makes the most incredible color. This is my “go to” color as well as Indigo in my water abstracts.
We all know how expensive some oil paints are and because I am such a color phonetic (need a lot of different colors) I built my collection starting with these.
Blick Studio oils offer great performance and are a fantastic way for artists seeking large volumes of color on a limited budget to add to their collection.
These oil pigments are true to pigment, true to color and offer some unique colors.
My favorites are Radiant Blue, Radiant Lemon, Radiant Red, Radiant Magenta, Radiant Turquoise, Radiant Violet.
Gamblin Galkyd Gel Medium is a product I use a lot to create transparent impasto effects and holds marks and brush strokes well. It also has a great flow to it and adds some sheen.
How to use:
This gelled alkyd resin medium increases the fluidity and transparency of oil colors as well as speeds up the drying time. Thin layers of color are dry in 24 hours. You can also add up to 50% mineral spirits to this product to change the viscosity of Galkyd for glazing.
A little goes a long way so I just squeeze out a dollop on a small Styrofoam tray and add more when I need it.
Pure odorless mineral spirit
Gamsol is extremely useful for a multitude of things: cleaning brushes, using to thin oil paint when I want a thin layer of paint, spraying on top of a layer of color and wiping off to make some unique marks.
Most importantly it is odorless and is an inexpensive mineral spirit.
How to use:
Gamasol is the safest, odorless solvent and can be used to thin oil colors, painting mediums and great for general studio clean up. I keep a spray bottle filled with Gamasol and spray it onto wet oil paint to create drips and special effects. I also use it to wipe off areas of undesirable wet oil paint on my canvas.
When I need gesso, this is the one I choose as it creates a beautiful white, smooth flexible surface to paint on. It is truly versatile as it can used as the ground for oils, acrylics, water mixable oils and supports linen, cotton, paper, board, wood, plaster, and stone.
How to use:
For those of you new to making art, gesso is a product (or “primes”) the surface for painting, making the surface slightly textured and ready to accept paint. Without gesso, the paint would soak into the weave of the canvas.
I brush on one coat and let it dry. I will lightly sand and continue the process building up to three coats. I love the smooth, flexible surface gesso provides my canvases with.
10. Blick Medium Weight Canvas
Weight 12 oz. primed cotton canvas.
I buy this in bulk on rolls and is truly a wonderful canvas to work on. You can order by the yard or roll and because it is already primed you can start painting immediately. Who does not like to save time?
When you buy pre-primed canvas, it is already primed with up to three coats of gesso. I like the fact that I can just cut the canvas, stretch it on my wooden frame and I can begin painting immediately.
I am sure my favorites will improve your results. Go to my YouTube Channel to see how to use these products.
Thanks so much!