Relieving stress through resist paintings - from guest blogger Artsy Bat Brooke

Relieving stress through resist paintings - from guest blogger Artsy Bat Brooke

Leaves will be turning, apples are in season, spooky decorations are popping up on people’s lawns, and trick or treating is around the corner. A fun way to decorate is by making your own decorations. Plus, it is getting towards the holiday season with seasonal stress. Today, I have a project idea which can be both a mental health painting idea and something that can be used for decorations.

Happy October and welcome to my fourth blogpost! I go by Artsy Bat Brooke on all my art social medias and you can find me on Instagram at @artsy.bat.brooke and on YouTube at ArtsyBatBrooke. October is my favorite month with all the orange, pumpkins, bats, and other Halloween things. I primarily use watercolors in my artwork though I love coming up with different ways to do things as well as experimenting with new materials. Currently, I am developing my art style for children’s book illustrations.

Last blogpost I mentioned embracing a special interest to find joy. This time we are going to incorporate some whimsy playing with some atypical materials to relieve the stress. Some supplies you will need include tape, liquid glue that comes in a bottle, and crayons. These are a few resists we are going to play around with. For paint, I will be using The Smiling Hippo Watercolors. I found tying in things happening in my current life to be important to when I am doing art for my mental health. Incorporating things from the season takes some of my brain power away from something that has been on my mind and redirecting it.

Tape is often used for taping down the edges, but it can be used with drawing a shape on the tape then cutting it out. There are two ways to achieve this. First is using a cutting mat where you put the tape down, draw your design, then use an exacto blade to cut it out. This can be useful for intricate designs, but requires some supplies you may not have (I just got my supplies and have only used them twice so far). A second way is drawing on the tape then using scissors to cut the design out. I used the scissor version to mask off a simple bat.

Crayons are a fun resist that might bring back some childhood memories. Crayons are also one of the faster resists that can be used as they do not need drying time nor time to make something intricate. Using white can be fun to make a picture suddenly appear the moment you add pigment or you can use a colored crayon. If you want the crayon to be solid, I suggest using smooth textured paper. When you use cold press or textured paper as I did, there will be divots in the paper where the crayon will not reach. I like this effect as it can make the resisted area look more like it is part of the piece instead of a sticker on top of it.

The last resist is one which doesn’t protect the white of the paper as much, but can be a cool effect which I like for making a spider web. Liquid glue can be used as a resist or can be intergraded into the picture. One suggestion: make sure you test that if the glue claims it dries clear, it really does dry clear. In my picture below where I have all three resist suggestions, the purple glue that was supposed to dry clear, is still purple four days later.

Draw the design you want with the glue then wait for it to dry. You can create a cool effect if you have some globs of glue, but it may take longer to dry. I did have to wait for mine to dry overnight before I began painting. Once you start painting, you can use as much water as you want. It is easy to keep the paint in the compartments created by the glue, but you can still drag color to another area and blend them. There will be some pigment that will stick to the dried glue and certain glitters stick to the glue as well. It does give some dimension while keeping some areas lighter. Tip: if you choose to tape down your paper, keep the glue inside of the tape boundary and not going onto the tape.

I hope I gave you some ideas for activities during the season and I hope you enjoy them.

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