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Science?! In Art?

Updated: Mar 18, 2019

Art is a beautiful expression of oneself and when you create art, regardless of the form, you are sharing a part of you with everyone who sees it. Although most art is created from a place deep within the artist’s mind or soul, there are ways we can use science, along with understanding our mediums, to create pieces that are even more evocative. There is a risk of over-thinking or over-analyzing when one paints in this way, which is why we need to think of these theories more as a pathway to amplify our personal techniques, as opposed to using theories solely and as a technique in and of itself.


When I started exploring acrylic flow, I wondered why some flow artists were able to create beautiful cells, and why some flow paintings were more interesting than others were. It was only when I came across an article (http://physicscentral.com/explore/plus/accidental-painting.cfm) about artist, David Siqueiros, that I started to understand and delved deeper in to why paint density matters. Siqueiros discovered this technique in the 1930s and it has been further studied throughout the years. The way it works is to first find the densities of your paints (and it has nothing to do with colour), and then, when doing a puddle pour, first pour the paint with the lighter density, and then pour the one with a heavier density on top of it. In this way, you will get beautiful cells and a much richer effect. Why? Because the more dense pigments will try to sink, and the lighter pigments will try to rise creating a much more desirable effect.




As you can see from the photo, yellow paint which is denser than the green paint yeilded a much more interesting and pretty pattern when I poured the yellow on top of the green (left picture) as opposed to when I poured the green on top of the yellow (right picture). I will be hosting an acrylic flow workshop soon, and will share more of this science and various pouring techniques. For more information, please got to my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/artbylolli/ or email me at lorraine@artbylolli.com

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