Level up your art by drawing into wet paint
Hey, it’s Cait Sherwood! I am a mixed-media painter who loves making art into journals and sketchbooks. I live on a farm in Maryland, in the States, with my husband, two dogs, and many chickens (and turkeys, and ducks, and a goat.) I am a Get Messy lifetime member and I was on the Creative Team in 2015.
Artwise, I like to work in a chaotic flurry of drawing, painting and collage. At some point I was too impatient to let some paint dry before drawing into it with pencil. That’s when I discovered that I like the look of this technique. The result is a highly dynamic drawing/painting with deep textural marks.
Drawing into wet paint is a fun and organic process. Also it causes you to be more decisive while drawing since each mark is so defined.
I use the pencil with the understanding that some lead will transfer to the page as expected, but the pencil also functions as a scratching tool. So sometimes the lines that are revealed through drawing show the color of what is beneath the paint layer.
This is a simple technique that I have found myself returning to regularly. In this tutorial I will show you how I approach drawing into wet paint and give you some tips.
- Pencil – I like a very dark pencil (wet paint would damage a pen or a marker)
- Pencil Sharpener
- Rag or paper towel (to clean the pencil as needed)
- Acrylic paint or gouache
- Spatula, palette knife or old credit card
- Paper or art journal to work on
- A reference to draw from if you wish (could be an image, could be real life, anything)
So, I said this technique was simple, and I meant it:
Apply an area of paint onto your art journal or paper with a spatula, palette knife, or old credit card. You want the paint to be sort of thick–thinner than icing a cake, but thicker than a typical layer of paint.
Using a pencil, draw directly into the paint. Every few marks you might want to wipe the pencil clean with a rag before continuing.
When you are finished drawing, let the paint dry (or dry it with a hairdryer.)
Pick a simple pattern you like to draw and try this out! Let me know how it goes and what kind of awesome color combinations you discover.
Cait Sherwood is a mixed-media painter who works into art journals. She lives on a farm in Maryland.