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The Remains of The Day: Make Art With Leftover Paint

pastel painting of a nondescript human figure on a dark green background


When you have some leftover paint - do something experimental with it - you might surprise yourself. Focus on play, exploration and experimentation. You can even start without much of a plan and respond to the marks as you make them. Doesn't that sound like fun?


I was so happy and surprised at this gem of a painting (above) that I recently created. I had just finished working all day on a very meticulous painting and I had some pastel colours left on my palette. I had a small panel primed with a pink underpainting. All the ingredients to using the remaining paint on my palette and none of the usual pressure to produce ( since I had just finished something).  So I stood there in the ebbing sunlight of the studio - playing !


Here's my plan for creating more of these experimental works and I'd like to share it with you to try out as well:


1. Prepare a number of small surfaces to work on. This might be canvas - stretched or unstretched, cutting down paper, or using panels or what ever your medium of choice is. 


2. At the end of your painting day give yourself an hour of extra "play time"


3. Make sure you have a little extra paint on your palette : ) or whatever your equivalent medium might be.


4. Start playing - always keep in mind that there are multiple "finished" points for any painting so step back a few times and ask "Could this be finished?" "Would it be interesting to leave it at this point?" 


Remember that it's just a small piece and just left over materials - you can feel free to experiment and play creatively without expecting anything in particular to happen. Enjoy the "play time" !



About the author

Artist in residence Rebecca Chaperon

Rebecca Chaperon is our Artist-in-Residence

With a compulsion to create unique visual stories, her paintings often follow the thread of a heroine's misadventures through a surreal landscape.

She's had the pleasure of teaching at Langara College and given community workshops on painting techniques with an emphasis on watercolour, oil and acrylic. She is a board member at the Grunt gallery.

View her online portfolio

Read more of Rebecca's posts

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