Using House Paint in Art

I never thought my art had anything in common with Pablo Picasso or Jackson Pollock’s work. Well it appears that we do have one thing in common. We all used everyday house paint on our canvases.

“Pablo Picasso, famous for pushing the boundaries of art with cubism, also broke with convention when it came to paint, new research shows. X-ray analysis of some of the painter’s masterworks solves a long-standing mystery about the type of paint the artist used on his canvases, revealing it to be basic house paint.”

Also, I found a reference detailing using house paint in art work and also the fact that one of Jackson Pollock’s most expensive paintings was done with house paint.

I went to a workshop last year given by Joan Fullerton. We used primarily liquid acrylics, charcoal and ink. However, she also had a small amount of light green house paint that I found very interesting. When I came home from the workshop I thought about it for a while, and remembered that I had almost a gallon of very light blue paint that I would never use again on walls.

I have been experimenting with this paint off and on for several months. I usually mix it with some kind of acrylic paint, or put acrylic randomly on a painting with the house paint. Since my blue paint is so light, I found it a good substitute for white acrylic paint.

Ann Hart Marquis-making art using house paint

Indigo on My Mind, mixed media on canvas, 14 x 14 1.5 inches.

Today I was looking at a rather dark painting I had almost finished that I knew needed more light. I got out my light blue paint and found it was just what I needed to finish the sky.

House paint is thinner than acrylic paint, enabling a painter to get smooth textures if desired. It also dribbles very well across a painting. I am enjoying it although as in this painting I use it primarily to lighten an area on the canvas. I have also used it with dark acrylic for some interesting effects. More on how I created the trees in a post to come.

I am not sure if I will continue using house paint, but I am having fun with it and I also have some light green paint. I also have a supply of available paint in the back closet, but I am OK with light blue and green for now.

Do you have any house paint that you probably won’t use again?

2 thoughts on “Using House Paint in Art

  1. Dotty

    Plenty of unused house paint in the basement of MY abode! Time to get it out, I guess. Thanks for this post and its info about house paint; I was just wondering recently about housepaint as a medium for fine art. Thanks, too, for linking to Joan Fullerton again. And, finally, thanks for sharing a piece of your housepaint art!

    Reply
    1. Ann Hart Marquis Post author

      Thank you for commenting Dotty, and thank you for all of your interest. I don’t know how much house paint I will continue to use, but I like to experiment with different mediums and paints. Sometimes they get used often in my work and sometimes they get put on the back shelf. By the way, it seems that it doesn’t matter if it is inside or outside paint. And if you paint a masterpiece, you need to varnish it.

      Reply

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