Difficulty choosing colors for your painting? Try clear Contact paper

June 6th, 2009 | 6 Comments

For the better part of the past month, I’ve been working on a painting that I call SuperAcid Autobacs-Ambilify.

I’m very close to finishing this painting, but I’ve been very challenged lately with selecting the right set of colors for the central part of the composition.

In other words, the composition is fine, but there’s a pretty large area in the center of the canvas where I’ve waffled over color combinations.

So I had my friend Oliver Hibert look at the painting last night. I also brought a roll of clear Contact paper, and I covered the canvas with it. This allowed me to paint over the canvas, without fear of paint buildup, as we tested different colors.

Long story short, we decided to “go green.” Oliver had some mint green and a light kelly green laying around, and we gravitated toward that part of the color wheel. See below.

Contact paper is laid over the left half of this canvas, allowing me to test different colors.

Contact paper is laid over the left half of this canvas, allowing me to test different colors.

Before meeting up with Oliver, I was wary of using green, simply because I feel like I use green so frequently in my paintings. But Oliver showed me otherwise.

Oliver and I also had a good talk about how difficult it is to choose colors when you’re employing practically every color in a painting. You’d think that, because you’re using every color, it would be easy to add another.

Actually, just the opposite is true. The more colors you add, the harder it can be to pick the right one. It’s almost like building a house of cards; the more you add, the more you risk. It’s hard to explain. But do you know what I mean?

It’s almost easier to stick with an analogous color scheme. Yet, where’s the fun in that?


6 Responses to “Difficulty choosing colors for your painting? Try clear Contact paper”

  1. Jem N' Tonic says:

    I’ve never used clear contact paper. I have used a clear acetate with adhesive. You have to be careful with the adhesive though. Is the contact paper less adhesive?

  2. Hey, Jem, thanks for your kind comments. To answer your question Contact paper is a lot less adhesive than, say, 3M Super 77. Contact paper barely adheres to the canvas; I actually tape the sides, so that it doesn’t peel off. It’s a little hard to peel from its backing, but that’s the only drawback.

    Back to the easel for me; got a lot of green paint going on!


  3. Jem N' Tonic says:

    Thank you for the response. Just one more question. Can I get clear contact paper at any art supply store?


  4. Jem N' Tonic says:

    Oh yeah, by the way… Your work is Awesome!

  5. Hey, Jem. Thank you very much, indeed. Clear contact paper is widely available, I’m afraid. (I avoid using plastic as much as possible; pardon my hypocrisy.) Hardware stores, supermarkets, big box retailers, they’ve all got Contact paper. The world is probably overflowing with Contact paper, and we may not be aware of it. Don’t know about the availability of Contact paper in Chile, where I assume you’re at, however.

  6. Jem N' Tonic says:

    I am in Chile at the moment, but I will be visiting the states for a little. While there I plan on doing a lot of art. So, of course I will be using my new found friend… CONTACT PAPER. Thanks!

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